Friday, August 31, 2018

Chester County Vegan Festival and More

Hi everyone! On the 25th, I went to the Chester County Vegan Festival with Zach and my sister Alena. We hadn’t been there for a few years, but decided to try it again. It used to be a picnic buffet, which was really cool – you got to pick what you wanted to eat and fill up your plate from the great variety of food – and it used to cost $10 (or $9 if you brought your own place setting). This year it was in a different park, catered by El Burrito, and more expensive ($15, or $13 if you brought your own place setting, which we all did). Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, you ended up with less food. At the start of the food line, you were asked to pick either a vegetable tamale or a mushroom tamale. Both sounded good but you could only get one, so I went with the vegetable and Zach got the mushroom and we ended up sharing them between us. I would have loved to be able to get both because they were amazing! The mango salsa was pretty good, too, but the corn was just OK (I’ve been spoiled by the corn I grew in my garden this year haha) and the salt didn’t stick to it (they rubbed lime over the corn before sprinkling the salt on). Additionally, the whole mango was a) a bit redundant since we’d already been given mango salsa and b) way too sweet to eat all of it. 

I felt bad that there was no compost nearby (or at least not one that I could find, maybe I missed it) for the corn husks (from the tamale), corn cob, and leftover mango; it felt like such a waste throwing all that out. As for the rest of the festival, which we explored after lunch, there weren’t as many vendors as in the past, and only two offered free samples (one had small pieces of Violife cheese and one had bread topped with a vegan cheese and also cups of potato salad, which were awesome). There was a food truck there (Self Love), and their menu seemed nice; I don’t know if I plan to go back to the Chester County Vegan Festival next year, but if I do, I think buying from the food truck makes more sense than paying for the catered lunch. All in all, though, it was still a nice day; we got to hang out and see cute dogs that people had brought with them, and we got some free snacks to bring home, too – these were pretty good… 

Some other fun things I’ve enjoyed this week include these ice cream popsicles…

And these veggie burgers from Aldi… 

Here are some of my sketches from this week…

bell pepper (original photo)

potato (original photo)

snow pea (original photo)

spinach (original photo)

And here’s Leela… 

See you all tomorrow for the start of Vegan MoFo!

Peace. :)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Spicy Eggplant

Hi everyone! This week I made another attempt at the spicy eggplant recipe. It’s better, but still not quite there; I think now it needs a bit more spice. I might experiment more with this recipe in the future, but I’ll share the most recent recipe today because this version is still pretty good… 

Spicy Eggplant

1 eggplant, sliced and cut into quarters
2 medium bell peppers, diced
1 small onion, diced
½ T canola oil
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp ginger
1 T soy sauce
2 T hoisin sauce
2 tsp sriracha

Boil the eggplant pieces until softened, drain and set aside. Saute the peppers and onion with the canola oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger for five minutes. Add the eggplant. Cover and simmer for ten minutes, stirring every now and then. Add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sriracha and simmer for five minutes. Serve with rice.

Here are some of my sketches this week…

eggplant (original photo)

kale (original photo)

lettuce (original photo)

onion (original photo)

parsnip (original photo)

And here is Cringer, snug in a box…

P.S. Today is the last day to sign up for Vegan MoFo!

Peace. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Recipe Experiments & Blackbird Pizzeria

Hi everyone! This week I attempted to make my own version of the spicy eggplant dish from Sutao Cafe. It worked for the most part, but the eggplant did not get as tender as I’d hoped. Next time I will boil the eggplant pieces first (with the onions and peppers) and then add them to the sauce in the pan to cook a bit more. If that works, I’ll share the recipe next week! 

I also made a batch of BBQ cauliflower bites (1 cup BBQ sauce, 1 tsp hot sauce) with a single serving of mac & cheese that I put way too much turmeric in (I don’t know what possessed me to do 1 tsp, next time I’ll just do ¼ tsp haha). Other than the too much turmeric, though, it was a good meal overall. 

For dinner on Friday, Zach and I went to Blackbird Pizzeria; it’s been so long since I’ve been there (though this was at their new location), so it was a real treat! We got two slices of the haymaker pizza, cheese fries, and a seitan cheesesteak. Everything was really good; the pizza was delicious (and Zach’s favorite; he said that he liked that it was a bit spicy), the cheese fries were fun, and of course the cheesesteak is simply a classic must-have, though very messy to share and eat, haha! 

Here are some of the sketches I did this week…

carrot (original photo)

cauliflower (original photo)

celery (original photo)

corn (original photo)

And here’s a close-up of Daisy… 

P.S. I finally signed up for Vegan MoFo; I’m going to be doing my own monthly theme: Bookmarked Recipes of Vegan MoFo Past! If you haven’t signed up yet, you only have until August 24, so don’t procrastinate too much longer!

Peace. :)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce (Modern Martha)

Hi everyone! This week I visited my sister and we tried a new recipe – the tofu in spicy peanut sauce from Modern Martha. It turned out really well; the only change we made was to decrease the amount of sriracha to 1 teaspoon. We had it with white rice and mixed veggies, and it was delicious! So delicious, in fact, that I’ve already made it again!

I’ve also tried some new popsicles recently; they were both really good, but between the two, I preferred the salted caramel one… 

I did more vegetable sketches this week…

beets (original photo)

bok choy (original photo)

broccoli (original photo)

Brussels sprout (original photo)

cabbage (original photo)

Here’s Leela in one of her favorite summer nap spots – behind the door in the bathroom. I accidentally woke her up by taking her picture; whoops! 

Peace. :)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Lots of Spice this Week!

Hi everyone! My sister Alena visited again on Tuesday; for lunch we made the spicy macaroni & cheese from AfroVeganChick (I used the plain Chao – the chipotle mayo was spicy enough – and left out the ground coriander) and the spicy BBQ cauliflower wings from My cat loves Daiya! (I only used about ½ tablespoon hot sauce instead of ½ cup). We started eating the mac & cheese while the cauliflower finished cooking and then added them in once they were done.

Super spicy but so good!

For dinner we kept it simple and made spaghetti with the zesty Italian meatless meatballs from Aldi and a “garlic bread” bagel.


And then today I made “buffachos” (also from My cat loves Daiya!), which was another super simple and tasty meal!

Buffalo chickpeas atop tater tots, with vegan ranch dressing

In other news, I harvested my first cherry tomatoes! 

And here are some recent sketches…

tomatillo (original photo)

tomato (original photo)

asparagus (original photo)

And finally, here are the sisters Daisy and Cringer doing some bird-watching together… 

Peace. :)