Thursday, December 31, 2009

new year, new blog

Happy new year and new decade, everybody! 2009 was a year of great change, and surprise in my life, and so I know that 2010 will be very different. Those differences will also be reflected in this blog- look for a new address, a new design, and new directions for Where's the Revolution? in the next few weeks. I hope that you'll join me for a new journey!

and now, my new year's resolutions, 10 for 2010:
  • learn to make sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel
  • make injera
  • read 200 books (inspired by Elizabeth)
  • keep a journal (including dream journal)
  • visit 10 cities I've never visited
  • get a job, pay off credit card debt
  • be better than I've been lately about drinking water and taking my vitamins
  • write, create writing portfolio, send out articles for publication
  • keep in touch better with friends- letters, emails, cards, care packages, phone calls
  • revamp this blog!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

baby, it's cold outside

... and I hate it!

In the midst of the snow and cold and damp and grey and dark, I'd rather deal by having a flashback. Let's flash back to July and some blueberry picking, shall we?

can you just feel the warm sunshine?

can you just smell the green freshness all around?

can you see all those bursts of blue juiciness?

can you see those flies Japanese beetles doing naughty fly Japanese beetle things?

can you see Daiku picking away?

can you taste the fresh, fruity, plump and tangy blueberries?

can you feel your fingertips beginning to thaw just a bit?


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

the winners!

That's right, winnerS. I've decided to pick 2 people to send the Swell zine to! (Here's
the original post describing the zine) Lucky numbers 15 and 37, Amey and Hase! Send me your mailing addresses at and I'll put Swell in the mail for you!

Thanks for playing everyone, and keep watching for more giveaways!


Sunday, December 06, 2009

swell giveaway!

When A-K, of the swell vegan blog, put out a zine, I just knew I had to have a copy. I mean, you've seen her blog, right? She makes the most beautiful and healthy recipes. I've had the Swell zine for a few months now, and have loved all the recipes I've tried from it. I share a love of spicy foods with A-K, and so have loved the chipotle black bean tahini dip, the spicy tahini stew, and the lentil bolognese. Well, as far as I'm concerned, you can never go wrong with chipotle chilis, tahini, or lentils, so I might be biased! This little zine is packed with 15 inventive recipes, including some interesting, not-too-sweet desserts- you have to try Great Aunt Betty's Oatmeal Bundt Cake!

I've decided to give one of these zines away, so if you'd like a chance to win one, just leave a comment in this post. I will announce a winner Wednesday morning, 9 December 2009. Spread the word... and good luck!


Friday, November 20, 2009

5 cookbooks in 5 days, 5: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Whew- we have come to the final chapter of our 5 cookbook reviews in 5 days. I'm ending the series with a little book called Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Remember a little book about vegan cupcakes that came out a few years ago? And now we can't imagine a world without cupcakes? Well, it's time for cookies to get the same treatment. From the simple and old-fashioned, to the innovative, this book has tons and tons of recipes. There's even a section for wholesome cookies! I mean, come ON.

These have been all the talk with the kids these days- Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles. You think they'll be good. Then they turn out even better than that.

Lazy samoas. The Girl Scout recipe, simplified, veganized, and awesomerized.

Agave trailblazers- chock full of nuts and other goodies, but not too sweet.

And finally, these Irish Creme Kisses, delicious cookies that get a kick from just a hint of Irish whiskey. When I lived in the U.K., I may or may not have developed a thing for Irish whiskey...

And it may or may not have gotten a little out of hand...

Anyway... you can go here to get some sample recipes from the book- including the Mexican Snickerdoodles!

And, check out the other 4 cookbook reviews from this past week:
11/16 - 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman
11/17 - The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage
11/18 - Potluck Mania by Joanna Vaught
11/19 - The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek

Happy cooking and baking!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 cookbooks in 5 days, 4: 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes

We are on a roll! Tonight we have the 4th installment of this week's 5 cookbook reviews. When I heard that The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek of the nom! nom! nom! blog was coming out, I knew that I would have to get my hands on it. Why? Because Kris was the author of The Damn Tasty! Vegan Baking Guide. Those of you that were lucky enough to get your hands already know how good the recipes in that book were. That book is no longer in print, but fear not! Some of its best recipes are included in the new book.

If you've spent more than 5 minutes with me, you've heard me go on and on about THE banana bread recipe. It's the best one ever. I've tried a couple of other ones, only to come back to this- it makes a perfect, moist, flavorful banana bread and you won't believe how simple the ingredients are. It's also adaptable- I switch up the flours and add in crazy ingredients all the time, and it's never failed.

Here's another amazing recipe from the book- Boston Creme Pie! I never imagined I'd be able to make this fancy treat at home, but this recipe is awesome and it'll make you see that it is quite do-able.

This week I decided to make carrot cake. Don't laugh- my cake decorating skills are not that great!

But you can see from this inside shot that this cake is too good to care about my shoddy frosting job. A delicious spicy cake with carrots, raisins, nuts, and plenty of cream cheese frosting. It's so good. I'm not ashamed to admit that Daiku and I have been having slices of this for breakfast for the last couple of days...

Some helpful features of 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes:
  • very thorough ingredient and substitution guides
  • a huge range of recipes from sweet to savory, simple to fancy
  • a guide to let you know exactly how difficult each recipe is, in addition to tips on how to increase efficiency while baking
Don't miss out- this is a reference guide that you'll go back to again and again! Except for THE banana bread- you'll memorize that one pretty quickly...

Check out this week's previous cookbook reviews:

11/16 - 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman
11/17 - The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage
11/18 - Potluck Mania by Joanna Vaught

And stay tuned for my final review tomorrow:

11/20- Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 cookbooks in 5 days, 3: Potluck Mania

Tonight's cookbook up for review is actually a zine, Potluck Mania: Issue #1 Baby, It's Cold Outside. But it's bigger than most zines, and comes with a load of recipes that have been thoroughly tested and vetted to be really good. So really what's going on is that you have the depth and quality of a full-blown cookbook, for the price of a zine. Win-win.

It comes to you courtesy of Joanna Vaught, who you may recognize from her first cookbook, Yellow Rose Recipes. Much like YRR, this zine is full of recipes that reflect Joanna's southern roots. However, these dishes all have a little twist that takes them from good to extraordinary. You will be impressed with the quality of these recipes- taste, texture, and balance, it's all here. Here are some of my favorite dishes from the zine:

corn muffins- these have the perfect texture, and a delicate topping that kicks them up a notch

ginger maple tempeh strips- perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and awesome.

coconut sweet potatoes- just when I thought my love of sweet potatoes couldn't go any farther

last, but not least, we have us a crazy little breakfast treat that some friends and I invented one day. Before I go any farther, let me just say that Joanna is NOT responsible for this monstrosity! Her recipe is for these excellent breakfast sausages. We just happened to take those innocent sausages and... cook and wrap them in pancakes and top with maple syrup and whipped cream. I'm in no way saying you are obligated to do these with these sweet breakfast sausages, just... putting it out there.

Check out Monday's cookbook review, 500 Vegan Recipes
Check out Tuesday's cookbook review, The Urban Vegan

and stay tuned for review #4, tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

5 cookbooks in 5 days, 2: The Urban Vegan

Welcome to the 2nd installment of this week's 5-part cookbook review series! As I mentioned last night, I will be reviewing a new vegan cookbook (and 1 zine!) every day of this week. Tonight, I have The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine, by Dynise Balcavage of the Urban Vegan blog.

True story: Urban Vegan was the 2nd vegan blog I discovered, way back in the summer of 2006, and it was one of my main inspirations to start this blog. As anyone who reads her work knew, it wasn't if, but when Dynise would come out with a cookbook. I love the way she distills the essence of urbanity into her recipes- diverse, edgy, cosmopolitan, unexpected, but ultimately, homey. If like me, you are an urban person at heart (whether or not you live in a metropolis like Philadelphia), you have to pick up this book. What I love is how the recipes are inspired by Dynise's travels to all corners of the world, but somehow fit together very nicely. Check out some of my favorite recipes:

alternative granola - Peruvian influence, a use I'd never imagined for quinoa!

spätzle- you don't need any special tools for this Central European comfort food

chickpea paprikash- daiku's favorite recipe from the book- the paprika taste is so deep and rich, it'll blow your mind

Havana beans and rice- a little taste of Cuba, right in your kitchen

punka pie- I never even liked pumpkin pie before this!

blue mosque ayran- a refreshing and minty drink from the Middle East, perfect for hot summer days

crème brûlée - yes, you heard me!

tiramisu- oh man, possibly my favorite recipe from this book. boozy and decadent and coffee-y- wow!

portobello burger- so simple, yet so good

Here's the tiramisu that Luciana and I made for our recent Halloween party. We called it "fetalmisu"- get it? Ok, even if fetus humor isn't your thing, you have got to get your hands on this book!

Stay tuned for installments 3, 4, and 5. In the meantime, check out my first cookbook review from last night, 500 Vegan Recipes.


Monday, November 16, 2009

5 cookbooks in 5 days, 1: 500 Vegan Recipes

It's such an exciting time! Those of you who are cookbook addicts, and I dare say that's more than a few of you, might be aware that a ton of new vegan cookbooks have been published recently. This week, I've decided to give a few of these books some love- so I've decided to do a series called 5 cookbooks in 5 days, one each day until Friday.

The schedule will be as follows:
Mon (today!) - 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman
Tue - The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage
Wed - Potluck Mania by Joanna Vaught
Thur - The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek
Fri- Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Just a quick note to let you know that I know all of these authors, I have tested recipes for most of these books, and as a result have received free copies of some of them. I won't lie to you, I'm going to highlight what's good about these books! However, I think you'll agree that there just isn't much bad to say about any of them.

On to today's book!

500 Vegan Recipes
is brought to you by the lovely and prolific bloggers Celine (of Have Cake Will Travel) and Joni (of Just the Food). Just as its name implies, this is a big book, and has an encyclopedic selection of recipes for every meal, mood, and occasion. The book gives lots of background on ingredients and techniques, enough to give beginners the knowledge to begin and more advanced cooks confidence to experiment. The recipes, however, are anything but basic- both Celine and Joni are creative enough to write truly enticing and unusual recipes. A broccoli salad with candied nuts? It's good! A muffin made from a cookie? It's possible!

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Cannellini All'Italiana (hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, lip-smacking yet oh-so-simple to make)

Homemade bacon bits (much better than the overpriced chemical stuff at the store!)

Braised brussels sprouts and apples (so simple, but so good)

"That" broccoli salad (a perfect old-school blend of healthy and decadent, savory and sweet)

Agave bread (a wholesome bread with a light and delicate taste)

Mole bread (a wonderful complex bread with cocoa and spices)

Mexican hot mocha (a hot and comforting drink- with a kick)


Friday, November 06, 2009

in praise of gluten and other yummy things.

I want to sound a battle cry today. This is something that's been rattling around in my brain for a long time, and I've been wanting to address it for a long time, but dietitian Virginia Messina has done it much more masterfully on her blog.

The issue? What vegan means, and what it doesn't mean. First, read her article,
No Need for Vegans to Give up Fat, Gluten, Soy or Cooked Foods Obviously, Messina is speaking from a nutrition stand-point, making the point that unless you are allergic to gluten, there is nothing wrong with it, that fat is essential to our bodies, that soy is quite nutritious, and that certain nutrients are more, not less, bio-available through cooking.

However, she has inspired me to make a list of my own.

Vegan DOES mean:
  • a diet and lifestyle free of animal products, or as free as humanly possible
  • a life of compassion and respect for all living beings
  • ...THAT'S IT!
Vegan DOES NOT mean:
  • gluten- or wheat-free
  • soy-free
  • raw
  • organic
  • low- or no-fat
  • sugar-free
  • alcohol-free
  • health food
  • certain brands or companies
  • free from refined foods
  • free from junk food
  • caffeine-free
  • salt-free
  • whole foods or whole grains
  • a diet in the sense of a weight-loss strategy
  • activism, at least activism of any particular sort
  • environmentalism (being vegan is the best thing you can do for the environment, but not all vegans have to be environmentalists or even care about it)
  • religiousness, or lack of religiousness
  • limiting foods for the sake of limiting foods
  • food snobbery
  • orthorexia
  • disordered eating
  • a fast or "detox" of any kind
It's bad enough that people think that because I'm vegan that either I or my diet are rigid, limited, closed, or unexciting. It doesn't help that so many vegans themselves seem to conflate these issues. Again, if you have Celiac disease or have a true allergy or need to lose weight, etc. I completely understand. You can be vegan AND gluten-free, but not because one automatically means the other. I myself have been known to integrate my veganism with an effort to eat healthy, eat for the health of the planet, or for the health of my community.

However, I think it's about time that we clarify, to ourselves and to society at large, that veganism is not a blanket term for "diet" or "healthy" or "activist" - it's just an effort to reduce animal suffering through judiciously removing animal products and exploitation from our food and lifestyle choices.

Now, I'm off to make dinner: pizza. Delicious chewy sourdough crust (gluten! white flour! cooked!), vegan cheese (soy! processed food! salt! fat!), lots of olive oil (fat!), tempeh sausage (soy!) tomato sauce made with wine (alcohol!) ... still badass, still vegan.

Whew! What say you?


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I like... I don't like... November edition

A lot of bloggers have been posting these stream-of-consciousness lists lately, and I love reading them, so I thought I'd post one of my own, organized by the season in which we (in the Northern Hemisphere) find ourselves... If you post a list of your own, let me know, I'd love to read yours!

In November I like...

  • a good sparkly sunny day
  • baked squashes and root veggies of all kinds
  • turning on the oven for any reason, and then leaving the door open when it's done, for the extra heat!
  • the smell of fires burning in the fireplace, and the fires themselves for that matter
  • mulled wine, mulled cider, hot toddies
  • scented candles
  • my Philosophy cinnamon bun scented body wash
  • using the space heater in the bathroom so a shower becomes a sauna experience
  • apples!
  • looking forward to the holidays- songs, cookies, travel
  • tea, tea, tea! and teapots, mugs, accessories, cozies, etc.
  • lots of throw blankets and fuzzy socks and slippers and heat packs
  • cozy Thanksgiving at home, and planning for it
  • cranberries and canned pumpkin- on sale!
  • seeing lights and decorations in public places and peoples' houses

In November I don't like...
  • when daylight savings time ends and it's dark around 4 p.m...
  • and knowing that in a couple of weeks it'll be dark at 8 a.m. too
  • cold!
  • knowing I won't eat another fresh tomato for about 8 months
  • food photography is difficult because natural light is gone, and it's dark by the time dinner's ready (or sometimes lunch, for that matter)
  • putting clothes on when they are cold- it's physical torture for me!
  • looking forward to the holidays- consumerism, commercialization, figuring out what to do with the kitties
  • dry, pale skin
  • raking leaves- over and over again
  • cold numb toes
  • fearing the first snow
  • wearing layers of clothing- makes me feel fat, itchy, and claustrophobic
  • the endless search for a pretty! warm! functional! affordable! vegan! winter coat
  • sports- I just don't care!
  • 3 words: seasonal. affective. disorder.
  • the farmers market becomes a sea of potatoes and turnips... (nothing against potatoes and turnips, which I love, but I miss the color and variety of a summer market)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

the UK 100

There have been a lot of local versions of the Vegan 100 list floating around- for example, the NYC 100 and the Portland 100. I've wanted to play along, but there is no Syracuse 100! So instead, I decided to take this UK 100 list posted by Liz and try my hand at it- after all, I did live in England for a few months! I'm curious to see how I do. If you've lived in the UK, or have visited, or are just an Anglophile (Britophile?), why not play along?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

All items on the list refer to the vegan version.
Please don’t contact me to tell me that butter isn’t vegan, for example. I mean a vegan version of it!

Hampshire watercress


Montezumas chocolate

Melting mozarella Cheezly


Granose Mock Duck

Churros at Terre a Terre

Yorkshire pudding

Beans on toast


Mushy peas

Aldi croissants
Bourbon biscuits

Holland and Barrett fruit flapjacks
Linda McCartney sausages and chips

Marmite on toast

Kent black cherries

Marmite breadsticks
(If Marmite crackers count...)

Sunday roast at The George (hey! what about the Elvis Burger at the George??)
Anything at Birmingham’s curry mile
Rhubarb crumble with Swedish Glace
Paskin’s full breakfast

Jersey Royal potatoes swimming in butter

Evesham asparagus

Potato farls

Bubble and Squeak

Sticky toffee pudding

Irn Bru

Bacon buttie with tomato sauce
Marigold bouillon powder

Booja Booja truffles

Scones and jam
Bird’s custard
(I still have a huge container of it here at home!)
Anything at Dandelion and Burdock

White chocolate

A bought pizza with cheese in the UK

Hot cross buns

Staffordshire oatcakes

Bread and butter pudding

Summer pudding

Pickled onions

Potato from the Baked Potato Shop in Edinburgh
Weatherspoons curry

Irish stew with dumplings

Mashed carrot and swede
(mmm... somehow, roast root veggies taste better in the UK!)
Pease pudding

Christmas pudding

Blue Sheese


English muffins

Scotch broth

Walker’s prawn cocktail crisps (I miss these!)
Mildred’s mushroom and ale pie

Masala dosa

Realeat fishcakes

Worcestershire sauce
Mushroom ketchup

Pickled walnuts (I have a jar of these at home, but haven't opened them yet)

Anything at Vbites
Co-op donuts
(and brought some jars back- yum!)

Anything at Saf

Chip shop curry sauce and chips
Warehouse Café bangers and mash

Innocent Smoothie

Eccles cake
Semolina pudding with jam

Linda McCartney country pie
Scallop (potato fritter)
Elderflower cordial

Spotted dick

Victoria plum

Marigold braised tofu
Clive’s pie

Wagamama Yasai Chilli Men

(this is British???)
Spring cabbage
Holland and Barrett Porkless Pie

Henderson’s relish

Scottish raspberries



Fry’s Peppermint Cream


Roast parsnips

Booja Booja ice cream (could not afford this!)


Rice pudding

Beef and Tomato Pot Noodle
Sesame Snaps

37... not bad, eh? This just proves that I need to come back to the UK soon! Anyone wanna buy me tickets???