Restaurante

In regular restaurants, there is very little offered to vegetarians, and even especially vegans. However, if you’re rather strict about not wanting your foods to be contaminate with meat or other animal products in the process, then there are a few 100% vegetarian/vegan, animal-free restaurants.

The one I usually go to in San Diego is… Sipz.

If you just check out their website there… there’s one in Clairemont. Its branch is in the Sorrento Valley Foodcourt.

Other restaurants… this is a vegan restaurant franchise. Loving Hut.

Although there is none in San Diego. Check out their website if you live in LA, San Fran, and San Jose.

I haven’t really gone to any other 100% animal-free restaurant that is worth recommending yet. I’ll be sure to update.

Leave a Comment

The Perfect Fluffy White Cupcakes by Shmooed Food

I think this has to be the BEST vegan cupcake recipe that I has tried. Since I found it, I’m going to quote the thing, and put a few side comments on it. ALL CREDITS TO SHMOOED FOOD.

The Cupcake Song


makes 22 cupcakes – Actually, don’t be surprise if you make less cupcakes. I often end up with around 16 because my cupcakes are rather full.

1 TB apple cider vinegar
1 ½ scant cups plain soymilk
***
2 1/8 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
½ cup oil
1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. coconut extract
**

** I find coconut extract is fairly an optional choice.
*** Okay. If you’re confused about the “scant cup”, it probably make a lot of sense if you read the text in bold when you scroll down a bit. :D

Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray 22 muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper cupcake liners (I like to spray the inside of the muffin papers with nonstick spray to help the cupcakes release). Set aside.

Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soymilk to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the soymilk mixture, canola oil, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Fill each muffin cup with ¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

I find this recipe a very memorable ones… because I’ve done it so many time.  All in all, I recommend this. For the frosting alone… I’ve yet to find a successful recipe. :\

When there’s a chance, I’ll take the picture and post it up here.

Leave a Comment

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

What I like about songs in another language is that I don’t really understand the lyrics, but they’re still breezy like the music. :)


I decide to do potato smashed today. It tastes good in Costco, so now I’m remaking it. Alright, let’s go the ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 lb of potatoes – Or around a full salad bowl of potatoes
  • 1 Whole Bulb of Garlic - YES. Use the whole thing.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil - Or use any low heat oil
  • 3/4 Cup of Soy Milk – I used Vanilla. The more creamy the better.
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of margarine - Find the vegan ones.
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt – or depend on your taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of paprika - This is optional. It gives the finish product more colors, nothing much related with the taste.
  • 2 Tablespoon of fresh parley, minced - Or cilantro
  • Some fresh ground black pepper - Again, the amount is up to your taste

HOW-TO

  1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1 inch chunks and boil them in salt water (put around a teaspoon or so, you can adjust the salt level later) until it becomes tender. I suggest sometimes around 30 minutes.
  2. Peel the garlic and slice it in half. Place in a small pan or a heat-proof cup to bake. Put in the olive oil. Cover cup with aluminum foil and bake in preheat 350 F in the oven for 20 minutes. Let it cool. Take our the pulp of garlic and smash using a fork (or whatever in your hand). :P Okay, an alternative way to do this is just put on a pan, put in the olive oil and let the smashed garlic drizzles until it’s yellow-brown.
  3. Smash potatoes with garlic, parsley (leave some for the topping decoration), salt, and pepper.
  4. Heat margarine and soy milk. Add potatoes when butter melted and milk is hot.
  5. 5. Taste and adjust seasoning or add more salt with pepper.
  6. Take out to dish when there isn’t milk left, or the milk absorbed into the potaoes. Decorate with some paprika and fresh parsley.

Okay. That’s pretty much it. You can enjoy this DELICIOUS meal with vegetarian meat or fake meat available in the supermarket. In Vons, Albertson, or your local stores, look in the freezer or ask for vegetarian patties. Some fabulous brands are Morning Star Farms, Garden Burgers, Vege Farm, and so on.

That is an example of the yummy vegetarian meat product by Morning Star Farm. I highly suggested it with this meal and some barbecue sauce or even sweet sauce, depend on your liking, of course. Check out their other cool products! You will be surprise. Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy today’s meal!

Comments (1)

Failed Experience

Okay. During my recent cooking career, sometimes I find the foods I cook either surprisingly to my taste than expected… while others are terribly gagging. :\ There are the bads and the goods, so it might be a good idea to record both.

Today I tried the Curry Potatoes. I just wrote down quick direction rather than looking at them carefully. Furthermore, I didn’t have exact ingredients. So I put water and curry in first, then along some vegetables. Note to self: Always put the stiff ones first. In this case, I should’ve put potatoes first, until disintergrate, then add the other ones in. Curry should not exceed half a Tablespoon or even a fourth of a Tablespoon (for my taste) and seasoning + sugar should be around the same amount. NEVER put Naked Blueberry mix to enhance taste because the blue berry is too strong. Next time, try Orange Juice? I don’t know. Still in the process of testing things out.

Okay, so I have pancake for dinner instead of potatoes curry. Yum. Maybe I’ll do it better next time… I hope. I need a break from potatoes.

Don’t be discourage by one failed experiment. I have had many beside this one. Especially in the baking business, I wasted many plates of cookies. However, on the positive side, a fail experiment enhances the experience toward future great cooking skills. I’ve always been amazed how my mom throw ingredients in her pot of wonderland like magic without even a tablespoon for measurement. Perhaps it has become an instinct. :)

Leave a Comment

I call this… “Veggie Fish Flats”

On one fine morning, my mother went to Costco and bought a potato bag. Before they start sprouting roots, I must find way to finish them. Therefore a few dishes here will probably potato-related. By the way, if you’re a poor student like me, then it’s good to buy thing in bulk size, cook them, and put them in the fridge. You can always heat them up again, saving time, money, and energy. Furthermore, depend on the dish I guess, but chances are that reheated dishes taste little “deeper”, since the ingredients sink in more. For example, the soup gets saltier or something like that. Just don’t over reheat them too many times, then it’d just become pasty and slimy.

Today, we will cook the Veggie Fish Flats.

So I learned this from here. However, I notice that following recipes can be a little bit irritating sometimes when you don’t have enough ingredients or when you don’t know where to buy stuff, especially the mocked meat. All in all, this is my version of the recipe.

Here is nice song just to entertain you.


INGREDIENTS

  • In Vietnamese, its called, ham nhao.

    In Vietnamese, it's called, "ham nhao".

    1 cup of Vegetarian Ham Paste – Okay, so, if you haven’t had this in your fridge or see it somewhere already, this is probably the hardest to hunt for on this ingredient list. Try your local stores. It’d mostly likely to appear in the asian food stores. Because I live in San Diego, I know a few places. For example, not only the Veggie Ham Paste, T & L Food sells load of Veggie meats. If that’s still too far, local Chinese and Vietnamese supermarkets in your area probably have them. If you have trouble finding them in the store, you can ask the employee or look in places near the freezer. For the ingredient I can’t find or too lazy to get, I usually replace it or just leave it out. However, for this recipe, this ingredient is absolutely needed.

  • 2 Potatos – For every one cup of Veggie Ham Paste, use two potatoes. If you want to use the entire Ham Paste (like the pic above), you need around 5 or 6 potatos. Since the website I showed you earlier listed the ingredient under the 1 cup size amount. I will probably do the same here. Although, when I did it, I used the entire Ham Paste, which is around 3 cups, so just triple the ingredients if you want to do the same.
  • 4 Tablespoon of roasted Sesame Seeds - I bought these in Henry. I don’t think my seeds were roasted. They were more pasty… Anyway, they’re not hard to find, so if you can get, get it because it enhances the taste.
  • 1 Green Onion – This is optional actually. I didn’t like onion or had any at the time, so I didn’t use it. The 2nd time I did this, I did use it. It was not much different, but for the heck of it, I do suggest you use it, unless you hate green onion like me. :)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/3 Teaspoon of White Sugar
  • 1/3 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil – Okay, I didn’t have this either, so instead I put in Flaxseed Oil because that’s the only thing I have at the time beside Canola. If you don’t have it, I don’t really suggest you use Canola. Use olive or something else instead.
  • A pinch of Black Pepper – I put in around half a Tablespoon. :P Depend on your taste.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tapioca Starch – You can find that pretty much everywhere in asian stores. Anyhoo, I only have cornstarch at the time, so I used that. For cornstarch, I put a little more than 1 Tablespoon; I think around 2 Tablespoon, so they stick together. The more you put, the more stiffy it’d gets after you fried it.

  • Canola or any vegetable oil for frying. :D

LET’S DO IT

  1. Wash potatoes. Steam about 25 minutes until done. Peel off the skin. Mash the potatoes while they’re still hot. Let cool. (I suggest go over 25 minutes unless you have a potatoes masher at home because doing it by hand and a fork is a pain. Let it sink for 45-60 minutes. Depend on your heat. I put mine in Medium-High because I put too much, so high heat will make water overflow.)
  2. Finely chop green onion.
  3. The Mixture
    The Mixture

    Thaw veggie ham paste. (Make sure it’s not frozen. Completely not frozen.) Mix with seasonings, then add mashed potato. Mix again. Add (in addition) a little bit of tapioca starch if the mixture is too soft. Season to taste.

  4. Form the veggie ham paste mixture into round balls, then press down to shape the balls into round patties. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on both sides of the patties. (I find rolling it into a ball is extremely hard. Maybe because I used cornstarch, so it didn’t stick as much. However, even though it’s not dough-like, as long as you put starch in it, it’d fairly stick when you fry it. So don’t worry too much if it’s not a perfect round ball and pressed down. The 4 Tablespoons is for putting inside the mixture too [for step 3], so don’t forget.)
  5. Heat cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in the patties and fry until golden. Remove the patties and put on a plate lined with paper towel (to absorb some of the oil).
  6. Put the veggie fish cakes on a large plate. This dish can be enjoyed as an appetizer, and serves well with steam rice or bread.

Okay. So I quoted it. The black lines are my comments/changes.

I serve this a little bit different than suggested in step six. It’s pretty nice to eat with Sweet Sauce. You can find sweet sauce anywhere in food stores. Any kind is fine. Just whatever brand you like the best. I don’t have my favorite with me, but these are the ones I used.

Leave a Comment

Ingredient Information & Protein

Aside from eating vegetables and tofu, there are other ingredients or substitute that would help the transformation from a meat to vegan diet.

There are essential ingredients that is common among the recipes. For example… the MUSHROOM SEASONING exists in most Vietnamese/Chinese cuisine. It’s pretty handy to have. Furthermore, it works well in most situation from soups to mixtures in daily meals. This is available in the Asian supermarkets. I’m not sure if Vons offers it, but just check out their little section contain asian foods. It might be in there.

Available in Asian Supermarket

Available in Asian Supermarket

If you’re a busy person, check out the Vegan Mayonnaise. I think I got it at Vons. This is pretty handy to store in the fridge and take it out for a sandwich or a hamburger. It goes with anything. *O* SO GOOD!

*O* MUST HAVE

*O* MUST HAVE

In the baking area, if you like to use a recipe, but find it contains eggs, you can seek for another recipe or use this egg replacer. Remember to follow the intruction behind the box. ;D All in all, it’s easy to use and produces wonderful deserts. By the way, I find this little baby in Henry.

Get a teaspoon for measurement

Get a teaspoon for measurement

When I tell my doctors that I go on a vegan diet, they often suggest me to take addition B12 because vegans lack that vitamin from just vegetables and beans. It assists nerve cells. My sister jokes about if I get “emo” or depressed, just take all the B-12 Vitamins. Don’t over dose now. A pill per week or after daily meals should be enough if you do feel the need of completing the protein chart. Other than that, the vegan diet is fully capable of providing enough nutritious proteins for the body. Also, I got this from Henry too. I think you can get this in any pharmacy without prescription.

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12

Leave a Comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.