Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Skinny Bitch" - A Rant

I had a feeling that this would happen sometime, that I would post not a delicious vegan meal but a massively opinionated commentary on something I find totally irritating. Today, it will be the book Skinny Bitch. I have not read this book, nor do I plan to. I have read a chunk of this book online and have heard other people talk about it, but have not read the entire "manifesto," as the authors, a former model and modeling talent manager, purport. So here's my beef with Skinny Bitch. It masquerades as a book on dieting and eating well and how to be soooo skinny, however when one opens the book and begins reading, he is inundated with PETA-like information on such topics as cows being skinned alive in the slaughter line and how meat is "dead, rotting flesh." Which it is, but whatever. This not my biggest annoyance with the book, though. It's no surprise that eating well means lots of fresh fruit and veggies, grains, water and avoidance of caffeine and alcohol, among other such naughty pleasures. My biggest problem with Skinny Bitch is that the whole thing is narrated by this accusatory, negative, eating-disorder type voice that throughout the book states things like, "You need to exercise, you lazy sh*t" or "Don't be a fat pig anymore."
All right, how is THAT okay?
I can picture so clearly the minutely chubby teens that pick up this book wanting to drop five before the prom, or whatever, and all of a sudden they are being told not only that if they do not become vegan, they are awful people, but also the constant negative mantra that could easily turn into an eating disorder, or at least a significant eating issue, for already impressionable teens. Again, NOT okay.
After realizing that I was furious with the authors of Skinny Bitch, I did a little more research and read an interview with them. They completely contradict what they solicit in the book by saying in the interview, multiple times, "We are total pigs and love eating all day long. We just make better choices on what to eat." Which really means that they stuff their faces with Rice Dream instead of Dreyer's (and they probably throw it up afterward, anyway), which has the same amount of calories, fat, and sugar and will make you just as obese if you eat enough of it. There is nothing about vegan junk food that is better than omnivorous junk food. It just doesn't make sense to me.
For instance, when I fry up a huge batch of flour-and-cornstarch coated seitan and then smother it in sweet and sour sauce and my white - that's right, white, not brown - rice is glistening with the remaining oil, I do not think for one second that I am being healthy. I do not think that because it is seitan instead of chicken that it will help me lose weight. Granted, these types of meals are few are far between in this household, but I feel sorry for the people who believe the hype in Skinny Bitch and are bitterly disappointed when they don't drop 30 pounds the instant they stop drinking cow's milk. I don't think that everyone was meant to vegan and I also don't think that it's a good idea to get people to jump on that bandwagon with the idea that they will lose a bunch of weight. Speaking from experience, it doesn't always happen that way. People should make the choice to vegan or vegetarian because it suits their views, thoughts, and lifestyle. Not because you think it will help you lose massive amounts of weight.
So these people wrote a follow-up cookbook, too, the bastards. Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. Some of the recipes in this cookbook are the pinnacle of badness. Chocolate pancakes, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, hot fudge sundaes, you get the picture. But they're vegan. So they must be healthy. It is my opinion that vegan junk food is still junk food. Let me tell you, if I ate vegan chocolate pancakes and french fries all day long, I would be morbidly obese. It's all so contradictory. Baaah!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Potato-Cheese Perogies and Brats

Jeffrey loves these perogies like you would not believe. He actually stated, "These are one of the best things in the world." I don't know if he was referring to things other than food, but I must agree, perogies are generally delicious. I adapted this recipe from How It All Vegan and served it with some sauerkraut and a Tofurky brat. Although you should consult the cookbook for the recipe, I will give you my adapted version, as it is a slight bit different.
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
egg replacer equal to 3 eggs
6 tblsp vegan margarine, softened
1/2 C water

1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled, chopped, and boiled until tender
1 C vegan cheese, grated (I used Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dill
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbl soy bacon bits

Mash the cooked potatoes in a small bowl and add cheese, lemon juice, dill, and mustard. Stir until well-combined. Set aside. Sift together flour and salt, then add egg replacer, water, and margarine. Knead for a few minutes until you have a nice, smooth dough. Separate dough into sixteen small balls. Roll out each ball individually and place 1 tsp of filling into the middle of the dough. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. Boil perogies 5 at a time, then fry on each side in a little olive oil for a few minutes each.
While your pan is still hot, fry a Tofurky brat until brown on both sides. Warm up some sauerkraut. Put all the perogies you want on a plate with the brat and saurkrat. Dip your perogies in sour cream and salsa and smother your brat in the aforementioned condiments. Enjoy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Florentine Ricotta Pie

My attempts at blogging every day have failed. In fact, my attempts at blogging at least a couple of times a week have failed. Lately, it seems that we have been having leftovers, or a repeat of something I have already posted, or (and this is the most likely) I simply do not feel like taking photos of the food I just prepared. I would rather just eat it and then lay back and read, rather than scourge the literally dozens of photos I have snapped of the meal, trying to find the best one. Anyway, tonight is an exception. I made Florentine Ricotta Pie from The Uncheese Cookbook. I used fresh spinach rather than frozen and made a pie crust from scratch. Making a pie crust from scratch is not as daunting as some people believe it to be. There are only four ingredients:
1 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C water
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the olive oil and water in a small bowl, then add to the dry ingredients. Briefly knead into a uniform dough, then roll out on a cutting board until the dough is formed into an approximate 10-inch circle. Place into a pie plate and crimp the edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes before adding the filling and baking again. I also added soy bacon bits to this pie, and I do whenever I am making any quiche-type pie. It's just delicious.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


A few weeks ago, my officemates and I decided to go to Tortas Paquime. We noticed the menu sitting in the lunchroom one day and thought it might be fun to try something new. I was surprised at the mention of "vegetarian" on this menu and therefore became even more excited to try it. Plus, they had waffle fries with melted nacho cheese, and that was the clincher. We thoroughly enjoyed the place, and my torta of avocado, tomato, jalapeno, and mayonnaise was delicious.

I thought to myself, while eyeing my officemates' marinated pork torta, "I could so veganize this." Which I did. I made some bollitos and some beef-flavored seitan. I threw together some chopped romaine lettuce, a mixture of Follow Your Heart cheddar and monterey jack cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, and chopped jalapeno, then piled the whole mess on the bun, after spreading it with Vegenaise, of course.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chili Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

I am proud of myself. I worked a little later this evening, arriving home at 7pm from a meeting on 99th Avenue and Peoria. I had to stop at the store for some soy milk first. Upon my arrival, I fed two whining cats and started the dishwasher, which was completely full. I then set about making homemade chili and homemade rice. I then followed the recipe from Vegan Planet
for stuffed bell peppers, and had it done by 8:15pm. AND I'm sick, to boot! Anyway, these bell peppers are stuffed with a mixture of chili, rice, and vegan cheese (like Follow Your Heart), then doused in a sweet and sour sauce consisting of tomato juice, chili powder, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. I won't post the recipe for the bell peppers, but I will post the recipe for the rice I made (I always make rice this way, in fact). This way of cooking rice was taught to me by my friend Cici, who just happens to be an amazing cook and is studying culinary/restauranty type things in Italy. It's very simple:
Simply chop one clove of garlic and fry it in one tablespoon of olive oil until it is brown. Remove the garlic, but for the love of God, don't throw it away! Munch on it while you're cooking. Add 1 cup of rice to oil and fry it for a minute or so. Then add 2 cups of water (yes, it was sizzle, don't be alarmed), as well as salt and garlic powder to taste. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and cover. Cook for twenty minutes. I really should have taken a picture of the rice, but I forgot. That's okay, I'm sure you know what rice looks like.