18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another Stir Fry

While I was gone last week, I really missed my wok. For this creation, I sauteed some onions in canola oil, adding sliced mushrooms a couple minutes later. While the onions and mushrooms were cooking, I boiled some broccoli florets in water for a few minutes. Then, I added the broccoli to the wok and a Szechuan garlic sauce. When the creation was almost complete, I added some Morningstar Farms Chik'n Strips, and cooked for about two more minutes.

Helping Patients Kick the Meat Habit

Usually, I don't tell my patients that I'm a vegan. However, I do tell them to cut out meat from their diets. I recommend more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and suggest that they use meat-like foods such as veggie burgers instead.

One patient today explained that the next time he sees me he'll be making loud "baaaa"ing noises because he'll be a goat from "eating so much grass".

At least I got my point across.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Lazy Chili

This is the easiest stuff to make in the world. I use Donna's brand of organic barbecue sauce for the flavor. I put a little oil in the bottom of the pan and add a can of drained kidney beans, and sautee them for a few minutes. Then I add the entire bottle of Donna's sauce, some burger crumbles (Boca or Morningstar Farms), frozen corn, and some chick peas. I stir and cook for about ten minutes.

Anything can be dumped into Lazy Chili. I've used pinto beans, black beans, or cannelini beans in previous recipes.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Harmonia's Eggplant Curry ROCKS!

It's great to be back in my own kitchen.

This evening I whipped up Harmonia's Eggplant Curry. It was awesome. I sauteed the onions in oil first, then added the mushrooms, and then the rest of the sauce ingredients. And, since I forgot to get a tomato at the grocery store, I poured in a cup of Prego Traditional sauce.

Oh... and watch out for the Laffy Taffy. The little ones are vegan, but the big candy bar-sized ones have egg albumin.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Free Ice Cream!

My gift to you -- a pint of Purely Decadent Soy Delicious. This stuff is soooooo good, and it has no dairy or animal products whatsoever. All you have to do is send an e-mail to and state that you were sent by a Veg News ad winner (me) and include your full name and mailing address. She'll send you a coupon for a free pint.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sorry Mom!

Mom just checked out the blog. She wanted to reply to my post from last Thursday about her and my dad eating a lot of Taco Bell, but somehow couldn't get the reply to post.

Mom, I am very grateful to have you and Dad as vegetarians. And, yes, I realize that when you're not super busy with work that you cook -- did you see the picture of the Thai food that I posted? And, they don't always go to Taco Bell -- sometimes they eat at Panera, or Zoup! (a soup place), or go out for Indian food.

Mom and Dad, thanks for everything lately. I couldn't ask for better parents in a time like this.

Boca Spicy Chik Patties

I made myself a Chik Patty sandwich on whole wheat bread with Vegenaise, ketchup, and avocado. Don't know why, but lately I really have a thing for Vegenaise.

Anyway, need to find a new digital camera so that I can finally post some pics again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Camera broken?!?!?!?!?

First, it uses up batteries within seconds, literally. Now I can't close the battery cage, and even if I hold it closed the camera won't turn on. I think it's time for a new camera.

So, sorry, no new pics for now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I don't really like salad.

That may sound like a bizarre statement to come from a vegan. But, truthfully, a pile of lettuce and raw vegetables doesn't appeal to me, which is why I find it so annoying that when you go to a restaurant and you ask if they have something vegan they pipe up with what they think is a brilliant suggestion of "Oh we have salad!" Like omnivores, I like to eat something of substance. I may be a vegan, but I am not a goat.

However, if it's a hearty salad, then I'm all for it. For dinner, I fixed a salad with avocado, walnuts, Craisins, and shredded Tofurky. I made a Thousand Island dressing of a 1:1 mix of Vegenaise and ketchup. I'd have a beautiful picture to show you of the salad, but as my camera eats batteries, I cannot do that. However, as I am in leftover mode, and I have plenty of avocado to use up, it will likely reappear.

Portobello Mushrooms with Sweet Potato Lemon Chips

This is a portobello mushroom cap (actually, I ate two of them) coated with a mixture of tempura, olive oil, and balsalmic vinaigrette, and baked at 400 on each side for about 7 minutes. The sliced sweet potatoes are coated with lemon olive oil and seasoned with some sea salt and ground pepper and baked for about 25 minutes.

Right now, I'm in leftover mode, as I'm heading to Orlando for work at the end of the week and will be gone for 10 days. That means I need to get rid of as much perishable stuff as possible, which will include the other half of this sweet potato, broccoli, onion, and a quarter of an eggplant.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Thai Food

I'm back! The weekend was a much needed break. I didn't do any cooking, but I did do a lot of shopping. Mom whipped up dinner tonight -- some prepackaged Thai peanut sauce, mixed with light coconut milk, fried tofu, and veggies, all on white jasmine rice. It was quite good.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Taking a Hiatus

It's been a somewhat crazy week. Tonight I went out for sushi with some girlfriends and then went to see Brokeback Mountain. Great sushi -- got a tofu inari, veggie roll, avocado roll, and shitakke mushroom roll, along with a salad and some edamame. And, a very good movie.

So, I haven't been doing much coooking these past few days. I'll be heading back to Detroit to visit my parents this weekend for a much needed hiatus from things. While I'm there, I'm sure I'll get the chance to cook. They're lacto-ovo vegetarians, with heavy emphasis on the lacto-ovo, and they subsist on Taco Bell.

So, I'll bring the digital camera with me and probably whip up a few things while I'm there. Have a great weekend; I'll be back to blogging on Tuesday!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Laffy Taffy is Vegan!

And I loooooove Laffy Taffy! But, I had no idea it was vegan -- I always assumed that it had some type of egg albumin or something to make it so soft and chewy. Not that it's healthy or anything, but it's good to know.

For more things that are "accidentally vegan", check out I Can't Believe It's Vegan.

As I'm moonlighting at the hospital tonight, I'm patronizing my favorite (and unfortunately the only) vegetarian restaurant in town, Skippy's. I had a Sloppy Joe sandwich made with Boca burger crumbles and a really big slice of vegan chocolate cake that my waistline really doesn't need but absolutely hit the spot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Whole Wheat Pasta with Asparagus

I took some fresh asparagus and sauteed it in basting oil, which is grapeseed oil with some other goodies added to it, and added some ground pepper and sea salt. The pasta sauce is a "meat" sauce -- Prego Traditional with Morningstar Farms Burger Crumbles.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Vegan Resolutions

Thanks to all of you for your responses to my question of "Vegan Enough?" I've been vegetarian for over 14 years, and now vegan for ten months.

This year, I resolve to eliminate honey from my diet. This means I need to be less lazy about my choice in buying bread -- I need to find a good loaf of whole-grain bread that doesn't have honey.

My other resolution is to not gain weight. I've lost 3 1/2 pounds since Christmas. I'm now 5'10" and 164 pounds, and want to lose a couple more pounds. I'm going through a particularly tough time in my life, and succeeding will be difficult, but I know I can do it. It just means that I can't turn to food for comfort, especially at night. I can do this.

Portobello Sub

I put a little olive oil in a frying pan, then added chopped onion, yellow and green pepper, and eggplant, followed by sliced portobello mushrooms. Then I added some tamari sauce and balsalmic vinaigrette, and sauteed a little longer. I poured the mixture into a sub roll, which I put in the oven at 400 degrees for ten minutes. Loved it.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Vegan Enough?

Is it enough to simply call yourself a vegan? Can others just not be vegan enough?

We don't eat meat, fish, egg, or dairy because factory farming is so cruel to the animals and to the earth. But what about honey -- do we care about the plight of the bees? And then there's white sugar, which doesn't contain animal products, but about 50% of the time we know that bone char was used to process it. And then, what about products that may have been processed in a plant that uses cow milk, that may have "traces of milk"? Do we shun these items too? Or how about the mono- and diglycerides? And then organic vs inorganic.

For full disclosure, I'll tell you what I do: I do not consume egg or dairy. Every so often, I'll eat something with honey in it, though I try to avoid it. I do have some regular sugar in my house, though I usually purchase organic sugar, and I regularly purchase and eat food with white sugar. And the "traces of milk" really doesn't bother me. I purchase organic produce when it is reasonably priced and available. My reason for being vegan is my abhorrence of factory farming -- I try not to get too caught up in the minutia, or I'll make myself crazy and the message is lost.

Also, I do not wear leather. This is a real pain because I wear a size 12 shoe, preferably in a narrow, and places like Mooshoes don't carry a lot of size 12s. I certainly don't wear fur (though when I was 10 I did own an alpaca fur jacket, but I had no idea back then). I don't buy merino wool any more since being educated by PETA's campaign of the cruelty of that industry. However, there are a few wool and silk items in my closet, but I now try to avoid buying these things.

When I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I used to absolutely freak out if I found out that there was chicken broth or gelatin in something that I ate. Now as a vegan, I realize how ubiquitous animal products are, and I do my best to avoid them. If I slip and find out something I ate wasn't totally vegan, I remind myself that I do more than most to eat a cruelty-free diet and I don't do it again.

My brother is a lacto-ovo and has been one since age 10 (he's now 27). He lives in LA and has the luxury of being able to eat in only (or mostly) vegetarian restaurants and will not go anywhere that serves veal or lobster. I wish I lived somewhere where I could do that.

Am I a real vegan? I'm not perfect, but I do my best. I commend anyone who realizes the cruelty of factory farming and the unnecessity of animal products in a human diet. Anyone who avoids beef, or chicken, or whatever -- more power to them, they're doing better than most.

So whatever you do, for the farm animals, for your health, and for the planet, keep doing it, and resolve to do more.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pasta Primavera

Yup, the old vegan standard. I used a little leftover Tofurky Sausage. Yum!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Easy Indian Food

Patak's Rich Tomato and Onion Cooking Sauce goes well with just about any veggie combination. It was being sampled at Wegman's with ground beef, sweet potatoes, peas, and raisins. Here, I have peas, corn, eggplant, sweet potato, seitan, and yellow raisins, and I put it on a bed of plain couscous. I've also used tofu, which soaks up the flavor of the sauce very well.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Toasted Subs

I sauteed some onions, green and yellow peppers, and eggplant in canola oil, and then added some Tofurky sausage and Prego pasta sauce. Then I poured the mixture into a couple of sub buns, which I put in the oven at 400 degrees for ten minutes.

They came out good. The one on the right is with cheese; the one on the left is vegan.