Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When things get tough around the Oops, It's Vegan! office, we have a saying:


You know you're in a rut when your breakfast is thai food carry-out over cooked oats. It's actually really good.

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming soon. PROMISE

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ender's Dreams.

Last night I had a dream I went to Battle School with my siblings. It was a pretty awesome dream. I smote another kid, just like Ender when he was being bullied. Then everyone respected me. I don't remember, but I likely became a battalion leader. I wish I had Ender's Game dreams more often.

Interpretation, anyone?

Today I had some bananas that really needed to be used. I wanted banana bread, but not plain banana bread. For me, the idea of a peanut butter quickbread is always great in theory, but not as inspiring in reality. They have such a strange density. I worked around this, though, and the results were perfect.

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Surprise!

2 medium bananas, mashed
1 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon

For the surprise:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp soy milk


Pre-heat the oven to 350. In a small vessel, mix the ground flax with the water, and let it sit for a minute or two. Meanwhile, mash your bananas in a large bowl. Add the flax mixture, oil, milk, vanilla and sugar. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients, and mix well.
In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the surprise. In a greased bread pan, pour in half of the bread mixture. Drop in glops of the surprise, and swirl them around a bit with a fork. Or your finger. I don't care. Pour the remaining batter over the top, covering all of the surprise. You want to make sure that those you feed it to DON'T KNOW. It's a SECRET. Even if it's just you eating it. Forget what you've done, come back in an hour. FEEL THE JOY OF A SURPRISE.

Anyways, bake for about an hour or until a toothpick/fork/sword comes out batter-free. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Cool completely on a rack. Enjoy.

I had mine for lunch in this fashion:

Layer of peanut maple sauce (tablespoon or so of peanut flour, drizzle of maple syrup, and a tablespoon of soy milk mixed together)
Layer of coconut milk yogurt
Layer of banana bread

For dinner last night, I whipped up some caramelized onions, kale, and dill socca. The socca was easy. Just 1 1/4 cups garbanzo bean flour, a little salt, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp apple sauce, salt, pepper and dried dill. I wish I'd had fresh dill, but we can't have everything that we want. I'll be taking the socca to work for dinner tonight.

Enter the give-away. May-Tank wants you to.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seek Sandworms and Spice in the Mojave.

This is what I had for lunch one day this week:

A strawberry/blueberry/almond/chocolate chip smoothie. It was yum. Pretty simple. Threw my frozen Michigan berries, a little soymilk, some homemade cinnamon almond butter and chocolate chips into the food processor and WHAM. Lunch.

I'm reporting from the burbs of Detroit. I have one golden retriever lined up with the outside of my right leg, and another lying nearby on the floor.

I would like to use this post as a DOUBLE REMINDER TO EVERYONE.
REMINDER 1: ENTER OUR GOD DAMN GIVE-AWAY. It's so easy. Stop being lazy. You've probably never won anything in your life. Not even tick-tack-toe. Try now.
REMINDER 2: Tomorrow is Pi Day. Celebrate the number. Eat pie.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gain the power of self respect.

"If I give you a hint and tell you it's a hint, it will be information." --Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle

This is from my favorite book. It's about a plain girl that gets turned into a little old lady by a witch and experiences exciting things for the first time in her life.

When you're a little kid, everybody tells you that yes, you can be a vet/astronaut/comic illustrator/massage therapist. They tell you that you draw really nice pictures, even when you color the all over the fucking page with the brown marker. They don't tell you that by the time you're 24, you'll be lucky if you're doing something you've always wanted to do and feel awesome about it. They don't tell you that you'll probably be on EBT cards working at Petsmart, and that no, you can't live in Traverse City because you'll have no way of paying for your lake house on Old Mission. What the fuck.

I want to eat pancakes for a living, and then use the newly found fat-buoyancy to float across Lake Superior to Canada.

Basically, what I, Pancake, am trying to tell you here is that I haven't had the time/motivation to cook because my lease runs out at the end of April and I have nowhere to go after that. Such moments in life are stressful and frustrating. Particularly when you'd really like the next thing you do to pay you legitimately and to be awesome. Being a pseudo-hobo eventually loses its charm. Charm=lost.

I think I'm going to utilize this Bene Gesserit training manual. I'll use the gom jabbar to get whatever I want out of life.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Never eat microwave popcorn again.

Hey friends - xtina here. You can tell because I use copious amounts of dashes when I write - like this.

Have you entered our giveaway yet?? It's YOUR chance to win what is seriously the best coffee/tea mug ever. No joke - the new game in my office is "steal xtina's mug while she's away from her desk." It's also our chance to feel like our blog doesn't suck for once. We might not have eight million followers on twitter or own fancy DSLR cameras, but we can do a give-away!

Anyway, go here and leave us some pancake love.

Why do I look so happy in the picture above? I'm popping popcorn! It's so fun - and healthy, and cheap, and quick - to pop your own, that I'm here today to tell you: Never eat microwave popcorn again.

First, the recipe. Then I'll break it down for you, infomercial-style.

1/2 cup popcorn
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place the popcorn, coconut oil and sea salt in a big pot with a tight-fitting lid. Hint: our 2 qt pot was not big enough. Heat on high until the corn starts popping, and shake often until popping stops. Dump in a bowl...

and nosh away! This recipe makes 11 cups of popped corn.

So, why is this popcorn recipe better than the microwaved stuff?

1. It's healthier. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list for microwaved popcorn? Artificial flavors, trans-fats and awful-tasting vegetable oil are usually included. Yuck. This recipe boasts healthy helpings of whole grains - and coconut oil isn't the bad guy it used to be. In fact, coconut oil is not only fabulous to use in the kitchen, but also as a hair conditioner, lotion, moisturizer, and other things we can't mention on a blog our families read!

2. It's just as fast. Start to finish, this recipe clocked out at 2 minutes, 30 seconds - five seconds under my parents' microwave's popcorn button.

3. It's cheaper. I used the finest ingredients money can buy for this one. US-grown popcorn distributed by a Michigan company, and pure coconut oil - both certified organic. Sounds pricey. But its not. I did the math - and it comes out to $0.60 cents per serving! That's incredible.

4. It's fun. Trust me. You will start giggling like a small child as soon as the kernels start to pop.

You really have no excuse - never eat microwave popcorn ever again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm angry. So I'm blogging it out.

Okay, last part of the sweet potato was finally used. This time, it was savory and it was dinner. And dinners to come. Lots of leftovers. I probably won't be able to eat it all before it goes bad.

Also, had a couple of things published in my other life today. Check 'em out!

Anyways, the recipe. AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT THAT GIVE-AWAY! This mug wants to go home with you.

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac & "Cheese"


1 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2-3/4 cup mashed sweet potato (feel free to mess with that amount!)


In a food processor, grind up the cashews. Add in the water and whir that shit together. Add remaining ingredients, and process some more still. At this point, I added a bit more water to make the consistency slightly thinner than it was. Something less than Velveeta-like, you know? But still substantial. In the meantime, I was cooking up 15 or 16oz of pasta according to package instructions. Drained it, and mixed. What else are you seeing in that picture? Well, I wanted a bit more than simple mac and "cheese," so I also made some caramelized onions and sauteed spinach and threw them in. Delicious!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Holy Hell, folks, it's National Pancake Day! My favorite food on earth has a day. I mean, I'd be disappointed if it didn't.

I have TWO recipes for you today. Yes, two. Yesterdays breakfast, and today's. And yes, yes, there is a give-away in this post as well.

Yesterday morning I got in on this raging fad of "breakfast bakes." I made one with sweet potato and oats. The results were quite excellent, and I imagine I will be doing it again someday. I enjoyed the finished product with some maple syrup and peanut butter (after the peanut butter sweet potato fries, I was rolling with a theme).

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

1/4 cup sweet potato
1/3 cup oats
2 tbsp oat flour
1 tbsp flaxmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp milk substitute

Preheat your oven to 350. In a personal-sized, heat-safe bowl (Spray it with non-stick something. This is a step I failed to take, but would encourage others to do), mix the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients, and mix until incorporated. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until you can fork it and it comes out clean. Eat with favorite toppings.


This morning, I continued to use my leftover sweet potato (no peanut butter this time).

Sweet Potato Pancakes for One

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
dash of salt
~1/4 cup sweet potato (maybe a bit less)
1/3 cup fake milk
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
Extra coconut oil for frying
Some hazelnuts (optional)

Heat cast iron skillet over low-medium heat. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Create a well in the center, and put in the wet ingredients. Mix until just incorporated (clumps are A-OKAY). Melt some coconut oil in the pan to fry the cakes. Drop 1/4 cup of batter in per pancake, and cook until each side is golden brown. Makes about 3 1/2 cakes.

When I was making the 1/2 cake, I toasted some chopped hazelnuts in the pan for a nice topping (along with the traditional maple syrup, of course). They were delightfus. I love National Pancake Day. It's almost like my birthday.

Ready for that give-away?

In honor of National Pancake Day, I will be giving away the best tea mug one could ever own. I own one. X-tina owns one. Everyone on staff at Planet Rock owns one. Now it can be yours.

Perfect for hot drinks, soup, oatmeal, and just about anything that needs bowl-like containment. If you're curious about the logo, the gym I work for manufactures their own climbing holds through this company (The Detroit Rock Climbing Company--DRCC). Since we don't get many readers, I'm going to keep this give-away opened until at least 10 people have participated. This give-away is not open to family members or Planet Rock co-workers (both current and past). Sorry guys. How to enter? Simply leave a comment on this post. Tell me what your favorite flavor pancake is. If you don't like pancakes, fuck you.

Have a nice Pancake Day, everyone. I'm off to Detroit later for a bit of fun.