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Entries tagged with “veganmofo

I know I’m behind on VeganMoFo posting, but first I need to mention that an older and much-beloved story of mine, “How John Wilmot Contracted Syphilis,” is now up on Lacuna: A Journal of Historical Fiction. There’s also a brief Q&A with me on writing historical fiction, whereupon I make reference to how this piece grew out of a failed novel project. Said novel project involved time travel, S&M, famous dogs from Greek mythology, and John Wilmot, Aphra Behn, and Bathsua Makin teaming up to fight an anti-Royalist demon. It, unsurprisingly, never really came together. I wrote this story as an exercise and ended up liking it more than the book, though, so it all worked out in the end!

Lacuna is edited by Megan Arkenberg, who was one of my favorite writers even before she accepted my story for publication, so I was seriously honored when she took this piece for her ‘zine. You can check out some of her work at Fantasy Magazine: Recently, we published her “Lessons from a Clockwork Queen” and way back in February we put up one of my very favorite short stories we’ve ever published at Fantasy over the years, ever, “The Celebrated Carousel of the Margravine of Blois.” That story is pretty much the best thing ever. When I think of writers who inspire me, Megan’s at the top of the list!

But! Enough about me. Here’s today’s VeganMoFo Post: Thoughts on Delicious Sandwiches:

Sandwiches are one of my favorite things to eat. They’re so versatile, so easy to reinvent endlessly, so wonderful when paired with sides. They can be fancy or plain, traditional or unique, easy or complex. Always delicious!

The sandwich above, for example, is just the Chili-Lime Tofu from Appetite for Reduction (buy the book! But the tofus above are basically slices of tofu (not pressed), coated in a mixture of lime zest, chili powder, salt, minced garlic and baked until tender and tasty) on a baguette with low-fat vegenaise and an easy slaw I made out of bagged tri-color slaw, dressed with more vegenaise, lime juice, salt, pepper, a little chili power and thinned out with a tablespoon of soymilk. The side pictured is cubed kabocha squash tossed with more chili powder and salt, then roasted until crunchy. Spray it every once in a while with cooking spray to get that crunch! So good. It’s like southern

But other sandwiches I love include the Vietnamese French Dip from Veganomicon, po’boys made from tofus coated in cornmeal and oven-baked, and always the easy-peasy “dump bbq sauce on tofu or seitan, put on a bun with some slaw, and devour.” So good! You can make most famous sandwiches vegan, too, I’ve done awesome Philly Cheesesteaks (watch out—cats love to steal those!), Arby’s-style cheddar-sauce coated roast beef (Raech made those, actually), and I dunno, a million other things.

Woo! OK, so “Sandwiches” isn’t the most inspired MoFo post, but on Wednesday I plan (if all goes well with dinner tonight) to talk about calorie counting, cooking take-out style food for one, and what a healthy day looks like for an active semi-athletic vegan. Maybe not that much more interesting, but I’m trying here! Next week will be more inspired, likely, as I’m co-hosting a Halloween party, turning 30, and having some dear friends coming into town to celebrate several exciting things, and thus will be eating probably ten billion pounds of interesting foods!

Also, next Monday I’ll be announcing something so exciting I can’t even. Woo!

Decided to have a feast tonight. Now I am too full. Too full even to blog. Pictures!

First course: vegan calamaris with spicy garlic marinara and garlic-lemon, um, maybe it’s called aioli?:



Next, we had pesto fettucini and garlic bread. Pesto recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance. Check out the classy-as-fuck napkins and napkin rings I busted out for the occasion (thanks, Mom!):


Later tonight we’re going to get down on champagne and some chocolate, but I’m already too drunk to be blogging. Use your imagination, suckers!

Super-proud of today’s entry for VeganMoFo: The Vegan Month of Food!

For whatever reason this year I’ve really been on a pumpkin kick, so when I woke up on Saturday and the weather was a gross-out of cold rain and chill wind, I made some pumpkin scones.

The scones were just the basic scone recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, but with a 1:1 swap of pumpkin puree for the oil, and 2 tbs of flax seed meal added to the dough. Then I spiced it up with some cinnamon and nutmeg and other cold-weather “sweetening spices,” put some brown sugar on top, and baked them. Super good! They’re not too sweet, and completely perfect on a wet morning with a cup of tea. Also, they are a mere 115 calories apiece!

But that left me with a partial can of pumpkin, so I decided to go nuts and make some pumpkin ice cream. OH GOD. Let’s today start with the picture, mmkay?

 (pictured here with some of raechel’s spice cake)

Uh, yeah. It was delicious. Maybe my second favorite flavor after the salted caramel I made a while back! So here’s the recipe. Sadly, you do need an ice cream maker unless you’re one of those folks who will do all that stuff to make ice cream without one.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

1 c soy creamer (the plain kind)

2 c soy milk (or your favorite nondairy milk, hazelnut would likely be delicious!)

1 c brown sugar

1 c pumpkin puree (I used canned, but go ‘head and make fresh!)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4. tsp. mace

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (fresh ground is best)

1/4 c room temperature vegan cream cheese

1 tbs. cornstarch

3 graham crackers, broken into chocolate-chip sized chunks

To make the base: Reserve 1/4 cup soymilk, whisk together with cornstarch. Set aside. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and spices until it forms a runny-but-goopusy texture. I just used a fork to do this. You want to make sure to do this step because sometimes the cream cheese will form lumps in your base if you just add it straight; incorporating it with the sugar provides a smoother finished product.

In a medium sauce pot on medium heat, combine the goopus and pumpkin with a whisk, and then keep whisking as you pour in your soy milk/soy creamer mixture. Keep beating the mixture until it’s rich and golden and vaguely frothy. When it starts to steam, add your cornstarch slurry (keep whisking!). Let this come to a simmer and simmer it for maybe 5 minutes, until you can’t taste cornstarch any more.

Then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool on the counter and then let it chill–completely–in the fridge. Then add it to your ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions. When mostly frozen, add in the graham cracker bits so they can incorporate. Then pack it into a tupperware and let it harden in the freezer for a few hours. Voila!

My girl Raechel and I went in on an ice cream maker this summer, and have been making all kinds of crazy things! Pineapple upside down cake ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, strawberry oreo ice cream … just about everything you could imagine. But we’ve also made a bunch of sorbet, and this Triple Ginger Chocolate Sorbet was particularly delicious.





Triple Ginger Chocolate Sorbet (serves 4)

1 c sugar

1/2 c cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. salt

1 thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, grated well

2 c water

1/4 c freshly-brewed strong coffee

1/4 c candied ginger, chopped very fine

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, ginger powder, grated ginger, and salt. Pour in 2 cups water and the coffee. Cook over low heat until the ingredients are dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until very cold.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker using the manufacturer’s directions; in the last five minutes, dump in the candied ginger and churn until incorporated. Place soft-frozen sorbet in a plastic container and freeze for 1 hour or overnight, until firm enough to scoop.

You could probably make this Quadruple Ginger Chocolate Sorbet by putting in a shot of that Canton ginger liqueur, but I didn’t have any and it’s plenty gingery like this!

Today I’m headed to Florida to hang out with my family for a few days. Likely it will be too hot to enjoy a nice steamy pot of chili, but in Colorado and many other places it is certainly chili weather!

Recently, Mr. Nathan Crowder mentioned on his twitter feed that he was going to make a batch of pumpkin chili. What! I was immediately curious, and he was generous enough to share his recipe with me. It looked pretty veganizable, so I decided to try my hand, and oh my god oh my god this is my new go-to chili recipe. It’s also calorically reasonable for a large bowl of autumn goodness, coming in at a mere 251 calories per serving, with only 5.5 grams of fat. It also has 10 grams of fiber per serving, and 10 grams of protein. Nutritionally sound!

I elected to replace the ground turkey with Soyrizo, a vegan chorizo product available at most grocery stores these days, and definitely natural grocers. The rest was pretty 1:1, except I bulked up the flavoring elements. This is always a good idea when you veganize recipes: meat tends to add flavors to food, so with vegan stuff, you often have add in additional flavors for the same richness.

The original can be found here. Mine’s below!

Pumpkin Chili, Vegan Style! (serves 6)


1 tsp olive oil

1 large chopped onion

1 large chopped red bell pepper

6 clove garlic

6 oz soyrizo (1/2 package)

1 (14.5 oz) cans peeled and diced fire roasted tomatoes w/green chilis

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1 (15.25 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 fresh green chiles (4 oz) or 1 4 oz can diced green chile

1 can whole kernel corn

Spice Blend:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon whole cumin

1 teaspoon whole coriander

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Heat oil in a decently-large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers (chiles and red), and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Add spice blend, sauté for a minute or until fragrant. Add soyrizo, cook until browned.

Add everything else on the ingredient list, plus (after dumping in the tomato sauce) fill the can ¾ of the way with water and add that, too. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or longer. I did mine for about an hour as I got a wild hare to make cornbread and thus it cooked for a million years and tasted delicious!

The chili is pictured with a slice of the scallion cornbread from Appetite for Reduction!

Today is October 1st, which means it’s the first day of VeganMoFo: the Vegan Month of Food! Woo!

My “theme” this year will be Health & Happiness, so I figured a delicious, vegan, low-fat muffin recipe rich in Vitamin A and fiber would be a healthy, happy kick-off.

I know when I started doing low-fat baking it seemed intimidating, but it’s actually really easy. Part of the trick is knowing what can easily be made low-fat (or no-fat!) so you don’t get frustrated by failed first attempts. Yeasted breads are definitely delicious without added oil, and so are most quick breads, like muffins, scones, and things like banana or zucchini loaves.

You do have to account for the reduced liquid volume with low-fat baking, but the substitutes are many and easily available. My personal favorite is tried-and-true applesauce, it’s cheap, and if you get the unsweetened kind, it doesn’t add a lot of sugar. You can also use prune paste or mashed banana. I do a 1:1 ratio, most of the time, so if your recipe calls for half a cup of oil, use a half cup of applesauce.

It is good to keep in mind that with lower-fat baking, muffin- and scone-tops won’t usually get as crisp (though I have found adding in a few tablespoons of flax seed meal can help with that) and the shelf life of just about everything will be reduced. Muffins baked with applesauce will go hard much faster, but if you make room in the fridge for a tupperware, that’s easily dealt with.

As for the vegan aspect of low-fat baking, it’s pretty easy to “veganize” most simple baking (and not-so-simple baking, too!), but there’s also a wealth of recipes already on the internet. Vegans love to take traditional recipes and make them vegan so if you have a favorite muffin, make sure to check to see if anyone’s done your homework for you! For example, this recipe for Cranberry Orange Muffins was based off one from the Fanny Farmer cookbook.

This recipe I adapted from one by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, of Vegan with a Vengeance, Veganomicon, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World fame. The original can be found here.

The Best (Lower Fat!) Pumpkin Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use  pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tbs flax meal
2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, applesauce, flaxseed, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.

Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

They’re amazing! Whip up a batch and enjoy yourself on a chill fall morning.

Tea and Muffins!


It’s that time again! Time for VeganMoFo: the Vegan Month of Food. (Yes, it’s a shout-out to NaNoWriMo).

I did VeganMoFo a few years back, but I’ve been recently inspired to participate again. So, for the month of October, I’ll be regularly blogging about veganism!

Since this year I’ve taken the time to incorporate a lot of positive, health-conscious changes into my life, my theme will be (unsurprisingly, perhaps) “Health & Happiness.” Twice a week I’ll be posting about positive, health-centered eating, and then once a week I’m going to post pictures of Cheat Sunday. (Cheat Sunday is a new tradition in my family where for dinner/desert on Sundays, we don’t worry too much about calories, fat, you know, all that sort of thing.)

That said, I’m amenable to blogging about just about anything veganism-related, so if by some strange chance anyone out there has any requests, let me know in the comments, on twitter or facebook, or via email at

The RSS for the whole project is here, and the master site for the whole project is now just Last year I think over 800 bloggers participated, so this is huge and awesome and I’m superhappy to be involved again. Woo!

3930562108_f07c8dec17I have less than no time for VeganMoFo these days (my parents just left 20 minutes ago, less than 1 week until I interview Garth Nix, Thursday I leave for WFC) but here are some pics from Tasty Harmony, a lovely restaurant in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Tasty Harmony is not all vegan but it is very very vegan friendly (including all their desserts). John, me, Raech, and Jesse met our friends Becca and Shawn up there. Not all the pictures came out, but here are the highlights.


3930562108_f07c8dec17Not that it matters to VeganMoFo but I am super-busy and starting to feel a little stressed out. I’m preparing for a parental visit next week as well as World Fantasy Con, while slush reading for Fantasy Magazine, blogging every day, prepping myself for a still-in-the-works secret project, and trying to keep up my recent gangbusters pace on my novel (that part not so good this week, but that’s how it goes). Yeesh. Not that I’m complaining– this is the kind of work I love– but yeesh. So I guess what I’m saying is that today’s entry will be pretty bare bones, but there’s some recipe love in there.

I made myself hungry yesterday posting about Raechel’s bibimbap and so decided to make some for myself last night. Not wanting to be cooking for hours I decided to a “quick” bibimbap, rice with bap sauce and only three sides. I wanted the kitchen to be relatively un-crazy and I get really upset when I have more than a couple of pans going at once (Raech somehow doesn’t, but I am a very “focus on one thing at a time” kind of girl) so I settled on baked tofu, ginger/garlic/shallot bok choy (recipe follows), and modified Korean cucumber/daikon salad (recipe also follows). This way I would only have one oven recipe, one stovetop recipe, and one cold bowl-needing recipe. And the bap sauce. That said, even though it seems complicated, my kitchen was relatively un-destroyed and it took about an hour all told. Nice! The rice cooker helped. Here’s a general tutorial for my Stress-Free Bibimbap For Two:

Set your rice cooker to cook up two or three cups of rice (I used sushi rice and did not regret that decision). Then preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut one block of extra-firm tofu into strips and halve them, then set them in a 9×9 baking dish with 1/4 c. soy sauce and enough peanut oil to coat. Turn them over once while your oven is preheating then stick them in and forget about them. Flip them once, when you think you’re about halfway done with everything, but it’s not a science. They’ll be fine

Make your bap sauce, courtesy Fat Free Vegan.

bap sauce

I used less sweetener than the recipe called for, instead of a tbs. of sugar I used a tbs. of agave nectar, and added no additional sugar at all. The sauce was pleasantly sweet but I think I’d only do two teaspoons of agave next time. I also thinned it out with several tablespoons of water so it would be more spreadable.

Then make your salad-type dish. I riffed off this recipe.

cuke salad and bap sauce

This was basically similar to the above recipe, but I have a horror of raw onions and so used the following recipe:

Modified Korean Cucumber Salad

2 small daikons, cut into rounds

1 large hothouse cuke, seedless or seeds removed, cut into rounds

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp. peanut oil

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

the juice of one lemon

3 tbs. white vinegar

2 tbs. sesame seeds

Mix everything, cover, throw in fridge until ready to serve.


So after that was made, I started on the bok choy. I again riffed off of this ginger-garlic bok choy recipe, but I streamlined it and added shallots. When done, it looked like this:

bok choy

Ginger-Garlic-Shallot Bok Choy

2 golf ball sized shallots, minced

1 tbs fresh ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, pressed

4 heads baby bok choy

2 tbs. soy sauce (I used tamari)

2 tbs. peanut oil

Fry the shallots in the peanut oil until soft, then add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant. Then add your bok choy stems. I do my bok choy like this: I cut off the weird ends where you pull them off at the bottom, then slice off the leaves with a v-shape, leaving the stems. I chop the stems into half-moons (put the stem down horizontally, slice once vertically– just look at the picture, already! Throw the stems in with the garlic/ginger/shallot mix as well as the soy sauce and saute until the stems are tender. Chop the leaves into big pieces while this happens then add them until they wilt, then cut the heat.


That’s it! Everything worked out well, when my rice cooker beeped my tofus were ready to come out as well as my bok, and my salad had chilled long enough that the cukes were vinegary and crisp and lemony. I served up everything with the bap sauce and tucked in. Serious delish!

bibimbap final

Sorry I’m such a wretched food photographer. So blurry! But anyways, I hope tomorrow to post pictures from a local Boulder Thai place that does amazing yellow curry. I’m going there tonight with my beloved husband for a date night that I’m sure will be wonderful as our plans currently are Thai food and then playing World of Warcraft. I’m a lucky girl, yes, yes I am!

3930562108_f07c8dec17Bibimbap is a Korean dish that is basically a bowl of warm white rice surrounded by various side dishes, including sauteed veggies and tofu, all served with a specific kind of chili sauce. Raechel makes it (I want to try soon, but I am lazy) and her version is zawesome beyond belief. In particular, the bap sauce is. . . it is soooo good. It is spicy, and usually that makes my mouth cry, but something about the plentiful rice and veggies tames that beast down to the point where I can eat loads of it. Here are some pictures from Raechel’s last bibimbap masterpiece, first up, her baked tofus:


Veggies! Here, from top left to bottom right, are garlicy red peppers, sauteed winter radishes (daikon mostly), and bok choy. Oh. Yeah.

bok choy

My plate, all arranged. Pickles are often a part of bibimbap so I used some of the leftovers from the ones I made earlier in the month, so the plate line up is, from beside the fork, the bok choy, pickles, daikon saute, bap sauce, tofus, and peppers. In the center, just plane white rice. I think Raech uses sushi rice because the texture is so lovely.

plate arranged

A recipe for vegan bibimbap can be found here at Fat Free Vegan, and a recipe for the bap sauce can be found here, on the Fat Free Vegan blog. I link to this recipe specifically because Fat Free Vegan is an awesome website filled with a ton of healthy, really delicious recipe ideas, the best part being its organization. You can search by diet plan (if you have one) or, how I usually do it, by region of food or by main ingredient. Check out the sidebar for all the ways you can find something simple, tasty, and nutritious to put on your table. I really like this recipe, for Three Layer Mexican Pie. Delicious, and the cheez sauce is really great.