pretty in pink vegan

pretty in pink vegan

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Moving Week Food Dump

So for those of you that don't know my blogging absence has been because I have been moving into my new home. ( More on that later) I haven't moved in almost 4 years and I forgot that when you move very little if any cooking is done. So for the past week I have been packing, moving and unpacking and Keithon and I have been doing way more than our fair share of dinning out. So to fill my blogging void here are a few pics of the food I did remember to take a picture of. Sadly Comcast has not connected my Internet so I am sitting here at Imagine blogging my little heart out. (shout out for the free wifi)

Now the night that I did the paperwork for my new home was a call for a semi fancy dinner and of course my choice was Asian food. So Keithon, Karen , her son and I headed to Osaka for sushi! The woman stated that they do not use eggs in their Tempura so I took her word for it. I also ordered all the vegan sushi they have on the menu which sadly isn't much but if I recall correctly I was an avocado roll, a veggie roll and a tofu roll.

Of course Keithon and I made more than a few trips to Imagine. So many trips that I have now stolen Bianca's Mayorship on Foursquare. She told me she will earn it back while I am in Japan. ( Good luck my friend) Now we all know I love Imagine because its like being with family. Everyone knows everyone and the place just has good vibes. Last Thursday Keithon and I went by for lunch and while we were there another fellow Imaginer told me that he would bring me a drink. I honestly thought he was kidding until he came back with a drink!!! It seems he lives right next door to Imagine. This man went to his house, made drinks and brought them back. This drink did nothing for my packing efforts. After Imagine I went home and took a nap. 

Now don't  worry I did eat along with my lovely pink drink. Keithon ordered the meatball marinara and I ordered the veggie plate. I picked the side salad, corn bread, brown rice and black beans. Because Megan and Nigel love me they put the black beans on top of the rice.

Now Monday I was able to do a little cooking and when I say cooking I mean I dumped some things in a pot and made soup. This soup is loaded with veggies, chickpeas and barley. My kitchen is still not completely unpacked and it is so hard for me to cook cook with my stuff in boxes. Hopefully this weekend I will be completely settled in. 

Last night was our monthly Vegan Drinks Meet up at The Deli and the group this month was crazy big. I love that more people are learning about the group and coming out. It also seems that they were having a tasting for a new beer company  and as a result they had the beer on special as well as with the purchase of the beer you got to keep the glass. Right now I am thankful for any cup I can get my hands on. I'm not a beer a drinker so I choose my beer based on its name, Namaste. It was a light beer kinda close to a Corona. 

I've gone to The Deli more than a few times in my non vegan days but this was my first trip as a vegan and they have quite a few vegan options. This makes me happy that a bar has more than just hummus to eat. Don't get me wrong I love hummus but when I go out Mama wants more than hummus but my dear child ordered the hummus plate. Their presentation is AMAZING! I had the hummus for lunch today and it is super creamy and spicy. I will be ordering this again. I ordered the Tofu Pita this pita was filled with fried tofu, cucumbers, tomato and sprouts and of course a side of fries. The Deli is known for their fries so I couldn't turn them down.  

Now somewhere during this moving adventure I had ice cream from TCBY. For those of you that don't know TCBY now carries Silk soft serve and on this day I loaded it up with Oreos, mango's, blueberries, 3 Sour Patch Kids and 1 cherry. Yes I asked for 3 Sour Patch Kids and 1 cherry, it s my ocd.  

Now we are all moved in and hopefully I can get back to my love of cooking but before I get back to cooking I have to bake for the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale this Friday. If you are in need of vegan treats meet us downtown in front of Grawemeyer's at 520 South Main from 6pm to 9pm. The weather is going to be great and all proceeds go to the Memphis Humane Society. So stop by, pick up a treat and say hi!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hold Tight I'm Coming Back

Fear not vegan readers, I have not given up on blogging or eating. This month has been filled with a lot of AMAZING changes for me. One of the bigger ones is a new home! So in the prep of moving the wifi is off for now but I move on Saturday so I have hopes that I am back up and running by Sunday.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

And Then You Turn 11

I know I said that I would announce the winner to the cookbook give away on Friday but I was worn out by three 11 year old boys. Why you ask because this is my baby's birthday weekend and I decided to be a Power Ranger and take the boys to Sky Zone, I also let him have his first sleepover. For those that don't know what Sky Zone is it is a indoor trampoline park. Being the big kid that I am I joined in on the fun. I only lasted 30 minutes but I burned almost 500 calories. That place is the best workout ever. Sadly in my old age it took me 2 days to recover. Keeping up with 3 preteen boys will wear you out.

Today is Keithon's actual birthday so we had a mommy and me day. First stop was breakfast. Keithon is the breakfast person in the house so since it is his birthday what Keithon wants Keithon gets. Sadly finding a vegan breakfast in Memphis is a bit hard but after a Internet search I found out that Three Angels Diner had a nice vegan spread that I was sure would make Keithon happy. We ordered almost every vegan option on the brunch menu. We had the tofu scramble, biscuits and gravy and vegan sausages. The tofu scramble was loaded with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and smoked paprika. ( I added a bit of hot sauce because I like mine spicy) 

Since breakfast was out of the way I surprised Keithon with a trip to Sweet Noshings to let him be will a kid in a candy store. Sadly he did not get as excited I thought he would. He took his time looking at every case. He was trying to figure out which candies were vegan and which were not. For an 11 year old he did pretty well and since it was his birthday I allowed him to get WHATEVER  he wanted. ( what made his candy non vegan was the beeswax that Jelly Belly uses to make the jelly beans shinny and the glaze on the candy corn)  He also found a soda that is suppose to taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Just like his mama Keithon likes to drop hints of what he likes to do and last week he dropped the hint about Rio 2 coming out. So unknowing to him after the candy store we were headed to see Rio 2.  We saw the 1st one so the 2nd one was pretty easy to follow but heaven help my non movie loving soul it was the longest movie in the world.  Long or not it was a good movie and I always love the hidden messages in Dreamworks movies. I won't spoil it for those that haven't seen it yet. As you can tell by this picture Keithon was over the whole mommy taking his picture thing. 

All in all my one and only had an awesome birthday. His friends now think his house is pretty cool because he has a pinball machine in the living room and inflatable furniture. The boys even enjoyed the vegan pizza and cheese dip I made them. Now on to the winner for Fillet of Soul Afro Vegan.... the winner is Sarah Kate. Sarah I will email you to get your address to ship your book!! 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Good Food, Good Wine, Good Friends and A Give Away

 In my head I have reached the blogger holy land. Why you ask, because a few weeks ago I was contacted to do a cookbook give away! Nothing warmed my little vegan soul more than to know that my blog was read and considered worthy of having a contest. So of course when they asked would I do it I said yes, a million times yes! So tonight I will be sharing a review of Wheeler del Torro's newest book Fillet of Soul Afro Vegan.

Some of you may know Torro from his previous book The Vegan Scoop, now if you loved Vegan Scoop be prepared to fall in love with Afro Vegan. It is filled with beautiful color photos, stories of his international travels and recipes from each of the regions he traveled International cooking may seem a bit scary but Wheeler makes it a breeze to do. Along with the beautiful pictures he even includes directions on how to garnish the dish! When I received this book I fell in love with it, to the the point when I slept with it in the bed with me. I already have a few recipes bookmarked to try later.

Now the hardest task for me was to choice a recipe to cook. There are recipes from Paris, Jamaica, Senegalese, Ethiopia and even a chapter on Southern cooking. Being a Southern girl I know cooking from the Southern chapter would be "cheating" so I ventured outside my comfort zone and went for a recipe in the Senegalese chapter. I settled on the Avocado san Crevettes, sounds fancy huh. Don't freak out I was able to make this dish in less than 30 minutes and it used ingredients that are readily available. Reading the plating directions I knew that this would be a bit more food than Keithon and I could handle so I called over Aisha and Bianca to help me eat, give me feed back as well as have a little girl talk. This is dish is the best of the food world. It has a salad element, a protein base from the black eyed peas and the avocado adds a healthy fat. The most interesting part of this recipe was the prep for the avocado. It calls for avocado, non dairy yogurt and of course lemon. I have never thought to try avocado with yogurt but the two together made the avocado amazing and it also give the black eyed peas a totally different taste. I don't care for black eyed peas but tonight I almost went back for seconds. I love the bright colors of this dish.

Now of course you can't have dinner without dessert and with the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale coming up I need to test my cookie again before offering it to the world. The actual cookie I am making is from my cookbook that I am hoping will be published. I was out of almonds and coconut so I just used the chocolate chips I had in the pantry. The girls thought they were good just the way they were. I still may tweak the base of the cookie just a bit more. 

Now on the contest!!! Some of you may recall that I am heading to Japan in a month and the food over there is amazing. So for an entry leave me the name of your favorite international dish and come back on Friday when I announce the winner of a signed copy. But if you don`t win make sure you pick of a copy of Fillet of Soul Afro Vegan it won't disappoint. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Evergreen Rocks and So Do Things That Come From A Truck

The weather is slowly starting to warm up here in Memphis and with warm weather comes outdoor events. Last week was a bit of a stressful week for me so when I saw Fuel Cafe  post that the food truck was heading to Evergreen Montessori School  for a family friendly event called Evergreen Rocks, Keithon and I stopped by to see what it was all about. Evergreen Rocks was more of an open house to showcase the school as well as give the community a afternoon of fun. Along with tours of the school they also had T-Shirts for sale as well as a student who couldn't be more than 5 playing the drums and singing Eye of The Tiger.

My main reason for going to Evergreen Rocks was to check out Fuel Cafe Food Truck. Saturday was also the opening day of our Downtown Farmer's Market, which is where you can find Fuel's food truck along with other local food trucks. Sadly I couldn't take part in opening day but the market runs til October so there will be plenty of Saturdays for me to venture to the market. When I first became vegan along with Imagine's menu, Fuel's vegan burgers saved my veganism. These patties were created by Fuel's owner Erik and are also available at our local Whole Foods in the deli case. Now the burger is not available on the food truck but they do offer the perfect hand held food. TACOS! The fuel vegan burger is crumbled and served in locally made soft corn tortillas topped with vegan cheese, lettuce, salsa, red onion, cilantro, and  vegan sour cream. It has been 6 months since I was able to have one of the babies and I was over joyed when my name was called letting me know my order was ready. These tacos are stuffed to the brim with vegan goodness so if you are not a trained professional you may need a fork.

Another thing I love about Fuel's food truck is the array of crazy hot sauces they have and yesterday I found a new one that is the Whole Foods version of my beloved Sriracha called Ninja Squirrel. It is not a spicy as Sriracha but the bottle was just too cute!! I may just buy a bottle because it is so adorbs.

Before Keithon and I stuffed our faces with tacos we headed over to my favorite camper photo trailer. Yes you heard me right trailer. Amurica is the brain child of Memphis local Jamie Harmon and where ever there is a Memphis you will find Jamie with trailer in tow. This is not your typical photo booth in the Amurica photo both you will find all types of props to enhance your photo experience so if you are looking for a zany, memorable photo track down this trailer. Check out these pictures. 

So all in all Saturday was a great day. I was able to have a my beloved taco, have  a new picture for my desk at work and a really good friend helped take a big weight off my shoulders. If you can't check out the Fuel Food Truck on Saturdays at the Farmer's Market check out their Facebook page to get updates on where it will be during the week. Hey its a food truck do you really expect it to sit still but if you don't want to chase down the truck check out the brick and mortar. The same goes for Amurica as well as the trailer they also have a studio and both are located in Midtown. Yet another reason Cassi loves Midtown.  

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Never Joke With A Vegan

Everyone goes through that "get to know you" stage when you first start dating. You know the basics, what do you do for a living, what type of music do you listen to, what are your favorite foods, etc. So of course "Jack" and I went through this stage and then we hit the food conversation. Lucky for me he is accepting of my veganism and more brownie points for him because he knows how to cook and not just food that come out of a box. Everyone that knows me knows that my favorite food is cupcakes. My entire kitchen is dedicated to them. Some how we got on the topic of squash and his ability to make squash casserole and of course I asked what he puts in it. He went through the list of ingredients, we were doing good until he added the meat. So he  told me that he would make me a squash cupcake. I told him keep joking I will make a squash cupcake and make you eat it. He called my bluff, NEVER CALL CASSI'S BLUFF. I will always deliver.

Now I had a spaghetti squash left over  in the kitchen that  needed to be use before it went bad now of course I couldn't make my normal sweet chocolate type cupcake so I decided to use more spices versus more sugar. Since squash is in the same family a zucchini  I based it on zucchini bread but a tad bit sweeter. Bam Squash cupcakes.

The texture is that of a cupcake and you can't taste the squash but if you break it apart you can see the strands of squash. I had my co workers and Amy try it and they approved so I guess I did ok turning a joke into food. My original plan was to make cupcakes but the batter was a bit thick so I decided to use a mini loaf pan for the test batch. It was super moist with just a bit of spice. Check out the recipe.

What You Need:

Cooking spray
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup stick vegan butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 tablespoons almond/soy milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup  cooked spaghetti squash

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat small loaf pan with cooking spray, set pan aside.
Combine vinegar and baking soda in a small plastic bowl. Mix well and set aside. Beat sugars, margarine, ginger, and cinnamon at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Stir in milk, vanilla, and vinegar/baking soda mixture; beat at low speed of mixer until well-blended. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Stir in sugar mixture and squash. Spoon into prepared cake pan, spreading evenly.
Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan; carefully peel off wax paper. Cool completely on a wire rack.