Archive for food

Vegetarian Bacon: Take 2

As part of my never-ending quest to find a vegetarian bacon substitute, I thought I’d try out some of this Smart Bacon brand. While Morningstar Farms brand is largely egg white (boo), Smart Bacon includes soy and wheat gluten – I think we’re doing better already. (As a side note, I still have to try out Max Sparber’s vegetarian bacon salt recommendation – amazing!)

vegetarian smart bacon

So this morning, I tried the imitation bacon out in a setting that would be non-threatening to it – you know, low pressure – and included it as part of an egg and cheese sandwich. It’s hard to make eggs and cheese taste bad. I thought with this extension of good will, Smart Bacon would do its best to be delicious for me.

vegetarian egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich

Actually, it was pretty decent! Reminiscent of the taste and texture of Canadian bacon, Smart Bacon got the job done, adding crispy texture and a vaguely cured flavor to the egg and cheese sandwich.

I give it a B.

(P.S. Don’t look too closely at the picture because you’ll see very un-green cut flowers. Shh. 🙂 )


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LEDs at The Cheeky Monkey, Veggie Canadian Bacon, and More

They’ve opened up a deli/coffee shop/wine bar/hangout next door, and I couldn’t be happier (well, I could, if I made myself a hole through the fence to shortcut the half block I need to walk there). It’s called the Cheeky Monkey, and it opened on Wednesday. We may or may not have been several times in the past 24 hours: Caleb 3, me 2. One reason I glow so much? The track lighting here is LEDs! (Read more from City Pages, Chowhound, EdibleCities, and HotDishing).

To follow up on last week’s veggie bacon post, I wanted to link to Sithlet’s post to the Twin Cities Live Journal Community about Yves veggie Canadian Bacon. Apparently it’s better than the Morningstar Bacon. It’d be hard not to be. In other news, Kevin Bacon has a new prank TV show called, yes, BACON’D.

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In other news, I’ve finally succumbed to more than a year of obsession and purchased a Sigg water bottle.

I think it’s a half liter. It cost me $20 at the co-op down the street. It’s supposed to help motivate me to go to the gym and to stop storing food in plastic containers – both New Year’s resolutions.

And I LOVE IT. Here’s hoping I won’t lose it.

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Make Your Jack-o-Lantern and Eat It Too

In honor of Sasha, this post is about eating your jack-o-lantern.

Image from

Instead of letting all the perfectly good pumpkin food go to waste, it’s possible to make tons of sweet and savory treats from your Halloween decor. Carved jack-o-lanterns keep several days before they start rotting. Cut away any rotting parts before you cook. Instead of sooty candles, the the Ultimate Cheapskate recommends using an electric light.

When cutting, remove the seeds, rinse them, dry them, salt them, season them, and bake them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet in a 250′ oven for around an hour. Stir every 20 minutes.

Scrape out as much pulp as you can. Steam it for 30 minutes or until it’s tender, then puree it in a blender.

Painted jack-o-lanterns are OK too, but make sure you don’t get paint in the food. Pop them in the oven and bake them to make the skin flake off.

How-to from Mother Earth News:
1. Remove any paint with metal pot scrubber, or peel skin off.
2. Scrape out seeds and stringy fibers with soup spoon.
3. Cut pumpkin into 4-6 pieces, or keep whole and replace the cap when scooped
4. Place on greased cookie sheet
5. Bake at 350’F until tender (about an hour, or an hour and a half if whole)
6. If whole, pour off any collected liquied
7. Cool it quickly in cold water and drain. Cut the meat away from the skin and puree it to remove lumps.
8. If you have lots of pumpkin puree, pack it into pint or quart jars or freeze.

You can make pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread….

Some more ideas from Frugal Fun:

1. Pumpkin butter
(pureed pumpkin plus mace, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and apples)
2. Pumpkin soup
(pumpkin, hot pepper, apple, garlic, almonds, mozzarella)
3. Pumpkin chocolate chip bars
4. Pumpkin chips
5. Chilean Squash Casserole (from Moosewood Cookbook)
(pumpkin, cheddar cheese, carrots, cumin, salsa)
6. Pumpkin latkes
(grated with eggs, onions, and flour, and fry patties)
7. Thai pumpkin curry
8. Baked pumpkin seeds
9. Pumpkin pie
10. Stuffed pumpkin
(vegetables, cheese, milk, bread crumbs, spices)

If you don’t like eating pumpkin, there are still ways to get another use out of it – Gaiam Life recommends composting or donating it to your local zoo.

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We Heart the Compost Club

We heart The Compost Club!

This Sonoma County nonprofit was founded by Peace Corps volunteer Rick Kaye, and implements educational composting programs at local schools. The schools then sell their compost as a fundraiser.

Oh, Peace Corps. Encouraging sustainable programs since 1961.

Anyway, this program is super cool and is gaining momentum. If you are a Sonoma County resident, consider purchasing a $75 Smith and Hawken compost bin from the Compost Club – they’ll deliver it! If you live outside Sonoma County, take this program as a model. It’s good for the kids, good for the schools, and good for the environment.

In other news, my roommate threw an avocado skin in our mini undersink compost bin. 24 hours later, the thing’s covered in spidery white mold.

Neat-o! It doesn’t even smell!

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The Oxford 2007 Word of the Year is out!

Ladies and gentlemen, make room in your vocabulary for locavore, the phenomenon of eating locally grown or raised foods that may or may not be more Earth friendly (in the broadest sense of the term, as debated by Macalester professor Bill Mosely in this recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle).

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OMG Veggie Meal Plans!

Can anybody say, “Godsend?”

image © 2007-2008 Cassie Young,

So I basically don’t cook anymore (thanks, holidays), but almost want to just to try out some of the gorgeous meals on this site.

Cassie Young, 39, from British Columbia generously shares recipes from her real life dinners.

Swiss Chard Soft Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa? Butternut-Pecan Pancakes? Red Lentil Dal, Roti, Curried Cauliflower and Peas?

Yes please!

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