ode to pizza.

October 12, 2007

I work at a pizza place. I’m a little sick of seeing pizza and eating salad, even though we have come up with some lovely vegan slices on weekends when I’m in charge. It’s mostly just lots of veggies (spinach is a favorite), maybe with some nuts on top and either a tomato sauce or an olive oil&garlic base. I never feel like making my own pizza at home anymore, but it brings me back to the days when I did…

Green Goddess Garlic Pizza from Vegan with a Vengeance.

The leftover green puree from above, on a half whole-wheat crust with marinara, spinach, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, and a little broccoli.

And here’s Isa Pizza, also from VWAV. A definite favorite. I often sub (the cheaper) black olives for kalamata.

With Isa Pizza leftovers (Tofu Ricotta, Kalamata Olives, Mushrooms, Marinara), leftover bell pepper, and roasted garlic, I made this. It was interesting but good.

This next photo may not look too appetizing, but it was one of the best pizzas ever.

It’s half black olives, red pepper, roasted garlic, jalapeno, mushroom; half artichoke ragout (more olives, tomatoes, capers..).

Basically, just make your own crust and sauce, use any veggies (or fruit) you have, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a tasty and inexpensive pizza.



September 25, 2007

Since some people are visiting this site looking for exactly how to eat cheap as a vegan, I’d like to post some general tips.

– Buy in bulk.
In the bulk section, get spices, dried fruit, beans (dried beans are WAY cheaper), and lentils, and get big bags of rice.. which leads me to my next tip..

– Rice and beans!
This should be your mantra. Do I even need to mention the protein?

– Make your own.
Bread(!), baked goods, salad, etc. Make oatmeal (with water), varying what you put in it (sugar, fruit, etc.), instead of buying cereal. And don’t buy processed food, fake meats, any of that. (Although right now I have a coupon for $1 off Gardenburger products PLUS they’re on sale for 2 for $5…)

– Use frozen veggies.
They’re not as good, but often insanely inexpensive. I usually just buy corn, because I like to add it to–guess what–rice and beans and other Mexican food. You can also try going to farmer’s markets near the end and barter with them, since they often prefer to get rid of the produce rather than not sell it at all.

– Potatoes.
So filling, and so many ways to make ’em.

– Know where to shop.
Asian markets are often best, and of course choose Trader Joe’s (they have cheap tofu!) over a place like Whole Foods. Find a place with a good bulk section. Store-brand things (pasta–even whole wheat, frozen items, chocolate chips) are usually the most inexpensive.

Just have your basics (including spices), and mix and match.

My favorite super-cheap meals are:

– Mexican food. Obviously, beans and rice–eat ’em in a bowl with some salsa when you’ve got nothing else. Add corn, a nutritional yeast nacho sauce (the one from the Uncheese cookbook is great), peppers.. whatever. Buy corn tortillas or make your own if you dare. I make TVP tacos on special occasions–just add ketchup or tomato paste and spices to the cooked TVP.

– Soups, etc. Buy bouillon cubes instead of vegetable broth, or use water when you can. Make creamy with potatoes. I love lentil soup, split pea (pictured), chili with whatever veggies I have…

– Indian food. I love the chickpea [use frozen] spinach curry from Vegan with a Vengeance. Kittee has some great recipes at paku paku, too. Check out her Latina section and her Ethiopian section for some recipes with lentils, too. Lentils are so inexpensive, did I mention that?

– Stir fry. Combine a grain with any protein and whatever vegetables you have (along with some soy sauce or spices), and how could you go wrong?

I hope that helps!

bake sale

September 18, 2007

It’s been awhile since I updated! I’ve been waiting for my brother to send me the summery-food pictures I took in July with his camera, but he sucks and now summer is over.

I wish I had my own digital camera, but I do have the internet again so maybe I won’t abandon this blog just yet.
And I had a bake sale at the Belmont St. Fair a few weeks ago! I don’t have new pictures, but I have old ones of a few things I sold.

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Apple-Pie Crumb Cake Muffins (Vegan with a Vengeance):

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars (VWAV):

I also had banana bread, coconut cupcakes (with some Almond Joy cupcakes–coconut with ganache & an almond on top), chocolate cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.

It went really well. I had a lot of fun, made a profit, and sold out of everything, so I got to walk around the fair. Thanks to those of you who came out!

meal in paris

June 22, 2007

A photo I took in the Paris apartment I stayed in last month. The meal is seitan and red peppers (with a few spices), plus bread and a tofu pate.  The entire baguette was only 30 (or maybe 39?) cents!

mishmash fried rice

June 13, 2007

I’m in Oregon now, for the summer… trying to, you guessed it, save money. My internet access won’t be as regular and I don’t have my own digital camera (but I’m hoping that tomorrow my brother will let me use his).

Here’s what I made about a week ago, right before I left.

I was trying to use up some things since I knew I was leaving: baby carrots, frozen edamame and corn, garbonzo beans, rice. I also added lots of garlic. You can make fried rice with anything, really, and I certainly made it the embarrassingly simple way. As in, “How about I just season with curry powder?” simple. I did make it a little more low-fat, just by using less oil and more soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. It was very filling.

I bought a 5 lb. bag of organic potatoes the other day… I could have got twice the amount of conventional potatoes for the same price, but who needs that many potatoes, really? So far I’ve made these and the potato-edamame samosas from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Really easy, really good.


Serves 2-3.

3 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced around 1/4″ thick

1 T. olive oil

2 tsp. dried dill, to taste

1 tsp. salt

1 medium-large garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread the oil in a rectangular baking pan and coat the potatoes by turning them around in it. Sprinkle the dill and salt over the potatoes. Bake for about 12 minutes (until golden brown), remove from the oven, flip, and sprinkle with the minced garlic. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with ketchup or Vegenaise mixed with dill and a pinch of garlic salt.

I started craving a nice, big breakfast, specifically waffles, while in Europe. This morning I made some, and figured I should incorporate some fruit. Using what I had, I created strawberry-banana waffles.

Recipe (I actually made half of this recipe, but I’m doubling it to make it more standard.. or so if you have a Belgian waffle maker, you won’t come out with 2 1/2 waffles):

makes about 5 Belgian waffles, at least double that for regular waffles.

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 medium ripe banana, mashed

1 1/2 c. soy or rice milk

3 T. canola oil

3 T. maple syrup

3/4-1 c. fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries, sliced (measure first, then slice)

extra banana and strawberry slices for garnish, optional

Preheat your waffle iron.

Sift and mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, mash the banana with a fork if you haven’t already. Add the milk, syrup and oil and mix well with the fork. Add the wet to the dry until just combined–don’t overmix! Fold in the sliced strawberries.

Cook in your waffle iron according to its instructions–I use 3/4 c. of thick batter and cook on a high setting.

Top with maple syrup and the sliced fruit, and powdered sugar if you like. Freeze your leftovers and pop them in the toaster when you’re ready for more.. I think they tasted better the next day.

If you don’t have a waffle iron, reduce the flour to 1 1/2 c. and make pancakes! Try starting with 1 1/4 c. flour, and add another 1/4 if necessary.

Variation Ideas:

Tropical Waffles: Keep the banana or sub with crushed pineapple (about 1/2 c.). Use lite coconut milk instead of soy. Fold in shredded, unsweeted coconut instead of strawberries. Top with extra fruit/fruit syrup.

Valentine’s Waffles: Sub the banana with 1/3 c. vanilla, plain, or strawberry soy yogurt. Increase the strawberries to 1-1 1/4 c. and blend them for a very short time in a blender or food processor with some of the milk (only 1/4-1/2 c. or so). Mix this with the rest of the wet ingredients, and add to the dry ingredients. Your waffles should be pink (cook on a little lower setting), and if you have one of those heart-shaped waffle makers, you’re gold (if not, like most of us, try reducing the flour and making heart-shaped pancakes). Optionally, you can fold in some chocolate chips. Either way, top with soy whip cream or at least powdered sugar and syrup. (I do need to test out this recipe, but you get the idea for now!)