Friday, January 26
Susie made the best seitan ever! She followed a recipe from Isa over at the Post Punk Kitchen. In ordinary circumstances, I would link to http://theppk.com/, which is their website. Unfortunately I can't do that since The PPK site has been down since last Thursday. I assume it has something to do with the site getting too many hits since a glorious article on the vegan chefs appeared in the Food & Dining section of the New York Times that morning. Ah, the painful price of fame!
Anyways, thank goodness Susie had the foresight/paranoid genius to print out the recipe in advance of getting down to the nitty gritty in the kitchen. Though Susie says the recipe was pretty easy to follow, the meaty loaf did take over two hours to prepare. Fortunately, I surfaced at her place just as the seitan was done boiling. Before being cooked, the seitan kinda looked like Meat Wad from Aqua Team Hunger Force, still it was super tasty. It was even better after Susie fried it up with some onions. Mmmm...God bless you Susie!
Saturday, January 27
Jessica, Sabrina and I saw Pan's Labyrinth at BAM. This is officially the second weirdest movie I've ever seen. (Twin Peaks being the weirdest--the midget gave it that competitive edge.) I may be permanently scarred.
Afterwards,us Mocha Majesties moved on to Jason Atkin's B-day party at Wai Cafe. There I ate my first salad of 2007, even though it featured raw tofu (gasp!) since it was the only decent thing to eat (imagine that!). Jason is quite the socialite with an awesome group of friends and great taste in cake, so it was totally worth enduring a green dinner.
Sunday, January 28
Being the broke and moody recluse that I am, I stayed in all day staring into space while my woman worked. Thankfully, Jessica earns enough money for us to stay on top of all the news that's fit to print. The NY Times article on Blipsters (black fans of indie rock), shone some light on a love that once had no name. Line Out's commentary pretty much sums it up.
My friend Sophie who is hails from Chicago but is here to study at Brooklyn College set up camp in my living room. (Email me if you've got need a roommate and I'll pass on the message to her.)
Monday, January 29
A total blur of unemployed bliss. Lots of What Not to Wear and random HGTV programs. At some point I attempted to do something with my life and hem my new pair of pants. This attempt made me realise that a stint on Project Runway is not in my future. It also left me with a deep reverence for my local cleaners, who had frustrated me with their lack of English skills in the past. Screw English, tailoring is the international language of love!
I also listened to El Oso for the first time at least a year. I forgot how wonderful this album is. Sadly, according to Wikipedia Soul Coughing broke up in 2000, after years of feuding over songwriting credits and publishing money. I miss this band so much. I actually coughed up cash to see them play at Irving Plaza back when I was 16 and twenty dollars translated into many painful hours of babysitting. Why must the fans suffer for their sins of greed?
Tuesday, January 30
I took my kitten Marty (aka Farty Marty) to the cheapo Humane Society clinic to get his diarrhea checked out; he also got a booster shot and AIDS test. Marty's mom was a pregnant teen we found wandering the streets of Bed-Stuy, so who knows--keep yr fingers crossed.
Later that afternoon, I saw The Queen at Sophie's prompting ("It's probably going to win an Academy Award"). Thank God the theater seats were comfy enough to allow me to sleep through most of this. Academy Award Nomination my ass!
In the evening, I attended Open Studio at Booklyn in Greenpoint for the first time. I learned how to do the Button Hole stitch, which is very similar to the Blanket Stitch used in embroidery and applique. It wasn't at all like this, still it was quite fun. I'm definitely a bookworm now and plan to go every Tuesday night. Anyone wanna join me?
Wednesday, January 31
Another recluse day rife with broken promises to visit friends. Sorry but I seriously think I'm suffering from agoraphobia (not to be confused with angoraphobia, which I also suffer from since I'm vegan and am a foster parent of the world's most wonderful goat)!
I did manage spend an hour preparing the most awesome meal of Whole-wheat Couscous and Chickpeas with Veggies. Here's my recipe:
- Dice 1/2 ginormous onion (or 1 whole medium-sized one), 5 cloves of garlic, 6 button mushrooms, and 1/2 huge green pepper.
- Saute above in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are translucent.
- Add 2 diced carrots (or maybe more if you like sweet stuff and don't want any regrets).
- Add 1/2 to 1 whole yellow zucchini.
- Rinse, drain, and add one large can (about 19 oz) of chickpeas.
- Chop up 7-8 plum tomatoes. Add a bunch of tomato juice (about 1 cup) from the can too. You might also opt to not be a cheapo and spring the few extra cents to buy a can of diced tomatoes, which you could just dump into the pan, juice and all.
- Season according to my taste because I have a superior palate: lotsa cumin, many shakes of salt, several shakes of cardamom and coriander, a few shakes of turmeric, 1/8 tsp of cayenne, and a few shakes of black pepper.
- Cook over medium-low heat until carrots are sort of tender. This might take between 30 and 45 minutes and might also involve cooking the other veggies within an inch of their nutritional value, but it's totally delish. Be sure to add more tomato juice in small increments if things start getting dry while cooking. Burnt food is never tasty!
- Follow instructions to make couscous. Make sure you use Earth Balance to cook with your couscous. The buttery flavor is worth the extra calories.
- This serves 3-4 hungry people.
Thursday, February 1
Today's lesson in temping is: Temping as a receptionist is fun and a great way to chronicle your week while still earning money!
Today's other lesson in temping is: Being Jewish is rad! I just picked up lunch for one of the employees here and it came in a sealed paper tote bag. One seal had the circled red K on it and the other seal had the name of the rabbi who certified it and a number you could call if you suspected tampering! How awesome is that! They need to make one of those things for vegans. I guess I'll move on to putting that into action, once I'm done organizing my Jewish brethren behind my class action lawsuit against Christians for stealing our religion to make some crappy spin off that they cash in on at the end of the year.
Today's lesson in temping is also: You can't judge a book by it's cover. I just met the seemingly most straight-laced, super corporate looking guy and apparently he is the person behind the donut fansite: Protectors of the Krispy Kreme Brand. Had I not met this clean cut guy, I would have imagined its author to be either a more portly incarnation of Al Bundy or a cop. Don't I have donut on my face!
For the record, while KK Donuts are Kosher they are not vegan, so I won't be eating them anytime soon. Still, they are the only non-vegan food that not only fails to repulse me, but actually makes me drool whenever I am downwind of one of their storefronts. We really need a Mighty O or Vegan Treats bakery here in NYC. Those hippy donuts available at Whole Foods are okay, but they don't truly satisfy the crazed fat-lust you get when you really want a donut.
Tonight I made another kick-ass dinner. This time it was Eggplants with Scallion-Tomato Sauce. This dish took about an hour and a half to prepare (I'm a very slow cook) and was inspired by a recipe from the goddess Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. I had to alter it a bit to fit the ingredients I had in my fridge. Fortunately for you, this means I can blog the recipe.
- 1 medium purple eggplant cut into one inch chunks
- 1/2 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
- 4 hearty scallions, coarsely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 3 tsp canola oil
- 5 plum tomatoes (I used the canned ones left over from Wednesday night)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- enough canola oil to deep fry (I used a small pan so a little less than 2 cups sufficed.)
- Put eggplant into a bowl. Lightly sprinkle salt evenly over the top. Move around a bit. Lightly salt some more so that you get the ones that weren't on top before. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the sauce in a food processor or blender. Blend green pepper, scallions, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, and 4 tbsp water until it doesn't have any large bits and looks like some weird vitality drink.
- Put 3 tbsp oil in large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the sauce. Fry, stiring ever minute or so, until the sauce loses most of it's moisture (between 7 and 10 minutes).
- While that's going on, begin to heat up the 2 cups of oil for deep frying the eggplants. Use high heat. Also gently pat down the eggplants to get most of the moisture off in preparation for frying.
- Add tomatoes to sauce and stir and fry for about 5 more minutes.
- Place some eggplants in the oil for deep frying once it's very hot. Don't put so much in that they're crowded and piled upon each other. Accept that you'll have to do another batch.
- Add the salt and 1/2 cup water to sauce. Turn heat down to low, cover (if you have one: I don't so I didn't), and simmer for 4 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
- Once the deep frying eggplants are a deep golden brown, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon. Drain on papertowels. Now deep fry the rest of the eggplant following the same cooking instructions.
- Set the sauce over medium heat. Once it's hot, gently fold the eggplants into the sauce.
- Serve with couscous and falafel (like I did) or rice and a bean or tofu dish (as the goddess recommends). This served two very hungry people.