Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stuff Yourself Like an Omnivore

I came across this on YouTube, and it gave me a chuckle:

Our corporate yoga class was moved to today due to a scheduling conflict, so that was a nice lunchtime break. I must say that I was quite sore from yesterday! It's hard to do some of those moves with sore muscles, but that means it's working, right?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Running Yoga

Today was my first yoga class as the instructor. I didn't really prepare, but I had an idea as to what I would do. Everybody seemed pretty satisfied, and they want to start doing a Friday class as well. So I'll be leading yoga Monday and Friday mornings, and then attending the company sponsored yoga class on Wednesdays. I'm really happy about this, because I love the idea of getting yoga in 3 days a week.

Went for a run after work. I was a bit fatigued today so it wasn't my best, but the scenery was beautiful around the trail. I haven't run there since last fall, but now that it's no longer getting dark at 4:30 I'm happy to add this location back into my rotation.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yellow Thai Curry

This recipe came from the farmer's market where the vegetables used in it were purchased.

1/2 stalk slice lemongrass
1-2 chiles
2 shallots (or 1 small onion)
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp lime juice
Olive oil

Everything gets blended into a paste, then added to a pan with a can of coconut milk. You can add whatever veggies you want, I put in asparagus, bok choy, cauliflower, and zucchini. I then added some silken tofu, and cooked until the vegetables were done. Served with brown basmati rice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Swimming in Homestyle Goodness

Went for the first swim of the year. I don't think I've swam since September, so I'm definitely out of shape! It felt good to get back in the water again. I'd like to try to go a few days a week until I can build my endurance back up again.

When I got home, it was time to prepare my feast. The menu tonight:

-Chicken-fried Seitan cutlets: These easy to prepare cutlets are amazing. I was intimidated by the thought of making Seitan, but this forgiving recipe turned out great!
-Mashed Golden Potatoes: Typical mashed potatoes (skins on!). Added plain soymilk, Earth Balance, and some pepper. A nice and creamy base for the gravy.
-Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from VWAV: Everything I make from Isa is always terrific. Don't let the huge list of ingredients scare you, this is not hard to throw together at all.
-Dinosaur Kale and Mustard Greens: I love greens. I was recently turned onto Dino Kale. This type of kale is less bitter than typical kale, and has a sweeter, nuttier taste. I think mustard greens are one of my favorite types of greens. I just steamed the both of these together in vegetable stock, and added a bit of lemon juice at the end. Some people put fancy sauces on theirs, but I'm very much a purist when it comes to my greens!

I wish I knew how to take better pictures, because the images below do not even do this dinner justice!

Close-up of the non-chicken awesomeness:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Corporate Yoga

I'm still participating in (now coordinating) the weekly yoga class that my company offers through YogaWorks. I've been labeled the "yoga queen" by many of my coworkers who have been attending the class since I've done yoga for several years and most of them are beginners. Some have asked me for additional help, so I suggested that we add an informal Monday morning class (not company sponsored) where we can follow a DVD and I can help with problem poses. This turned into a "let's have Tierney lead a class" instead. So, while I know a thing or two about yoga, and I've helped people one-on-one, I've never actually led a class before. Luckily, it's a smaller group so it's not so intimidating. I have an idea of how I'd like to structure it, but I'm definitely not so big on the flowery new-age talk that many yoga instructors use. However, I think my group won't mind that so much, and they'll appreciate my straight-forward approach. I'm looking forward to testing my instructing skills, and it will be great to have the additional yoga practice in my schedule. We may add a Friday class if things go well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More running and a Tofu Stir Fry

Did another solid 2-miler tonight. It felt pretty good, and I'm happy that I went out there. On my next run I'm going to add half of a mile to my distance.

For dinner I prepared Tofu in Oyster Sauce with baby Bok Choy and brown basmati rice. I got the recipe from here, but I made a couple of adjustments. I always hog the Bok Choy whenever I'm eating stir fry at a restaurant. They usually only put a few pieces in the dish, so I figure why not make something that features it? I ended up adding 3 bunches of the stuff. I also used Agave Nectar instead of the sugar that it called for in the recipe. I think next time I'll use less of it, because the dish turned out a bit sweeter than I would have liked. Other than that, a pretty good dinner that was easy to make (which I'm definitely a fan of). I was also really pleased with the way the texture of the tofu came out. The outside crisped up nicely and absorbed the sauce very well, while the inside stayed soft. I think using peanut oil to cook it really makes a difference. I sprinkled sesame seeds on top instead of adding the sesame oil at the end. I found it to be a good alternative to adding more oil.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Good Run, Great Salad

Went for a brisk 2 mile run tonight. I haven't been doing much of it this year, so I'm trying to start up again. I've been having a bit of trouble getting into running...it's very much a mental thing with me. My brain is always ready to quit way before my body actually needs to. I set a 2 mile goal tonight and just did it...easily. I'm going to just keep on adding distance until I can work up to a good amount. I'm going to tell my brain to shut up and just do it. I think I'll be able to listen to myself.

After the run, I wanted a light dinner, so I went with a tasty, quick, and simple salad that I found quite awhile ago on speedvegan's blog. It's an arugula salad with agave-mustard dressing, topped with pan-fried seitan and toasted sunflower seeds. It really doesn't take long to make, and it is so good that it's become one of my stand-by meals.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where's the Cream Filling?

I was in the mood for something chocolaty and creamy. After perusing my cookbooks, I came across the "Fauxstess cupcakes" in VWAV. I previously skipped these because they looked like alot of work. After actually making them, I realized that while there are quite a few different pieces, they're really not that difficult to put together.

You basically make the cupcakes, and beat together the cream filling while they're baking. When the cupcakes come out of the oven and cool a bit, you poke holes in the center and pipe in the filling. You then make a chocolate ganache, and dip the cream-filled cupcakes in (upside down) to seal the top. VWAV adds the extra step of making a white icing to draw the squiggles on top. I didn't find this necessary so I skipped it.

There are a couple of hard to find ingredients, but because this was a spur of the moment baking adventure, I made do with a couple of substitutions. The cake batter calls for black cocoa powder. This wasn't at my local health food store, so I just used regular cocoa powder. Also not at the store was soy milk powder, which is needed for the creme filling. In a moment of genius, I thought about using finely ground coconut flakes (unsweetened) instead of the powder. The texture of the flakes changed, and they became almost paste-like instead of a powder, but that didn't seem to matter. My genius paid off, because the slight hint of coconut flavor in the filling is amazing. The texture of the cream turned out quite wonderfully as well.

The fruits of my labor:

So good.


So, I had the idea to go to a local pizza place with a container of vegan cheese so that they could make me a vegan pizza. Upon arrival, I was informed by the restaurant that they put milk in their pizza dough. Honestly, who puts milk in their pizza dough? I really wanted some pizza, so I decided to make my own instead. It's just a basic pizza dough that uses yeast, flour (unbleached AP and whole wheat-1:1), salt, sugar, and water. The toppings include:

-roasted garlic
-vegan mozzarella cheese
-artichoke hearts
-mushrooms sautéed in basil infused olive oil
-black olives

The pizza stone gave it a nice, crispy crust. Here is the result:

Take a look at the deliciousness:

Next vegan pizza challenge: Chicago Style!

Back and Ready for Action!

So you can see that I haven't been posting lately. There have been some major transitions going on in my life, and I'm happy to say that I'm relatively settled for now.

I know it's a little late to talk about New Year's Resolutions, but this year I had decided that I would like to live more mindfully. I want to appreciate life and all of the little things that make it worth living. I think that I am mentally in the place to do that. Physically...I am definitely in the place to do that. Entering into spring here in beautiful Southern California...there is so much to enjoy.

After living here for a year, I was finally able to make it back to Texas to pick up all of my things that were in storage. It was no small feat, but I was able to pull off a successful vegan road trip. To do this, I stocked up on the following and put it in my suitcase on the flight out:

-Vegan Organic Food Bars: They're actually quite tasty, and don't have alot of refined sugar or artificial ingredients the way many meal replacement bars do.
-Primal Strips: Really good "beef" jerky type snacks. Good protein source with great flavors to choose from.
-I made some trail mix that consisted of toasted cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and then some vegan chocolate chips thrown in once the nuts cooled.

Everything else I purchased from this amazing co-op in Austin, Texas. In addition to getting a fabulous dinner from their deli (their popcorn tofu is so good), I bought some fresh food to keep in my collapsible cooler:
-Baby carrots
-Southwestern style hummus (has jalepenos in it!)
-Individually portioned soy milk

At the co-op, I also picked up some less-perishable goods:
-Brown rice cakes
-Peanut butter
-Pita chips

So with all of this food, I was set to make my trip from Austin, Texas to Laguna Beach, California. The nearly 1400 mile journey took about 2 days, and it was one of the smoothest road trips ever.

Things retrieved that are worth mentioning:
-My piano!
-Boxes and boxes of books...I really missed my books
-Desktop computer
-Remaining kitchen supplies and dishes

So, I've got my desktop set up again, a great new digital camera, my health, my stuff, and countless vegan recipes to try. I'm kind of disappointed that I haven't been able to upload pictures of all of the fantastic vegan food I've been making/eating since I had stopped blogging, but I know that the really awesome stuff will be made again. With all of that said, I shall commence with the postings!!!