Amsterdam, Etc...

The serious lack of vegan food choices was my main complaint with Amsterdam.  I had a great time otherwise, but mealtimes were a constant struggle.   Fortunately there was a wonderful place quite close to the hotel (and scattered throughout the city) called Maoz that served fresh falafel, with a nice variety of vegan toppings to choose from.  We ate there several times.

Although most restaurants had vegetarian items, they were almost always covered up in cheese.  One nice surprise was a Mexican place called Rose's Cantina.  The waitress was extremely helpful, going so far as to have the kitchen make us a special batch of guacamole without sour cream (as if sour cream ever belonged in guac anyway).  She helped us figure out what on the menu would be easily adapted, and made an excellent suggestion for adding an ingredient to the dish that we chose that we didn't know was available.  By far the most pleasant dining experience we had.

In contrast, we went to local Austin chain Iron Cactus Monday night...   I have to say I was surprised to be informed that they were unable to make as simple a change to a menu item as making some enchiladas without cheese in them.  Apparently the dishes are all prepared ahead of time, and there was no one in the kitchen capable of cooking something from fresh ingredients.  Sad.  So I ended up with veggie fajitas - again.  They were good, don't get me wrong.  I've just come to expect better from a place that has the gall to charge $9 for tableside guac.



Outstanding Vegan Pizza

We ordered a cheeseless veggie pizza in Moab, UT expecting the usual meager ingredients. This thing is piled so high with veggies they keep falling off with every bite.

Nom! Nom! Nom!



I've been slacking on the new recipes

So I made two this week. The first is the vegetable curry recipe from The Garden of Vegan. I don't think I chopped the broccoli and cauliflower up as small as they intended, and I didn't have any carrots, but it turned out wonderfully anyway. Also, it called for it to be served with jasmine rice, but all I had was basmati...

I also made an Indian dahl recipe from Asian Vegan Cooking. I didn't have yellow split peas, so I used green instead - again, turned out wonderfully anyway...

All this industriousness was inspired by a need to use a bunch of vegetables that were about to go bad because they've been sitting in my veggie bin for over a week while I was too sick to cook much of anything. Now that I'm feeling much better, I felt I should salvage what I could. The plus is that both recipes made enough that I can eat them for several lunches this week!

My V-Day treat

I took myself out to eat Thursday for V-Day to - where else - the Spiral Diner. They had these adorable little petit fours, so I took a couple home with me since I was, as usual, too full for dessert. They were as yummy as they were cute. And that is a synthetic leather top on my writing desk - in case you were wondering :-p


Finally, some decent food pictures!

Okay, it's been a while... but, here's a couple of meals I made recently. I even took good pics with my grown-up camera!

Tofu scramble with potatoes, onion, bell pepper and mushroom, and tofu un-bacon. The un-bacon was a bit off on the seasoning... still good, but I definitely want to tweak it some.

And here's kale sauted with onion, mushroom and tofu. I used a lot of chili-garlic sauce, along with additional fresh garlic, and ginger.


Tolerating non-vegans

This started as a post on the Vegan Freak forums... but I felt that I had more to say and contemplate, so I'm expanding on it here.

A poster there mentioned their increasing difficulty tolerating non-vegans. I was having this same conversation with a vegan friend the other day... About how I find it harder and harder to tolerate omnis that I really like, much less casual acquaintances. I could barely manage to sit and eat lunch with a lady that I've worked and eaten lunch with on and off for 7 years.

I don't even want to spend time around my family as much because of it - everything revolves around eating for most of my family, and therefore revolves around death. Sadly, I think many of my old omni friends have begun to sense this and are slowly drifting away. Even sadder - I'm not so sure that I'm not somewhat relieved that they are, so that I don't have to deal with it every time I go out with them.

I managed to not go to many of my family's big celebrations last year involving large numbers of dead animals... And even got some of them to eat veg with me for several meals. My mother eats vegetarian when it's just us. If I go out socially anymore, it's usually with my vegan friends.

I want to spend as much time in the company of other vegans as possible, and I'm gradually separating myself as much as I can from the omni world. I'm not sure if this is a good thing... but it's the direction I find myself going for now.


Tried two new recipes this week...

I did a new baked seitan recipe that turned out great... and a whole wheat bread recipe that also came out wonderfully - nice and dense. I like bread that has some substance to it. However, I couldn't find my camera and the cell phone pics looked oh-so-less than appetizing, so no pictures.

I promise a better post next time, but at least I did try the new recipes. And the two of them made a fantastic sandwich for lunch today!


National Geographic series on Best Friends Animal Society begins tonight

The National Geographic Channel is doing a special on Best Friends Animal Society called Dogtown. The first of the three-part series airs at 9 p.m. Central time tonight. This Salt Lake Tribune story quotes the series executive producer Chris Valentini, "They take dogs that have no place left to go. It's their last chance and [Best Friends staff] do amazing things in dealing with the dogs' medical problems and getting them adopted out."


Recipe of the week?

I want to blog here more often, and I'm thinking about doing a vegan recipe of the week thing where I try a new recipe at least once a week. This will both encourage me to try new recipes, and make me blog here on a weekly basis. I'll start this week and have the first recipe up by Sunday night.

There. I'm committed to it now.