Monday, February 25, 2008

A Very Rocky Horror V-Day!

Not to let Valentines Day pass me by without some sort of silly celebration, I decided I was going to have a small party in honor of one of my favourite movies, 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.

I've always been a huge fan of this zaney cult-classic. This raunchy, ridiculous, hilariously crazy, over-the-top rock musical has me written all over it! After years of watching the movie (and going to the play), I finally decided to celebrate it's unique awesomeness through a showing of the film including themed food, drinks and music. I guess the inspiration truly came from the fact that two of my friends (and band members) had not seen the movie before. Ah, what shame! At least now they can no longer say that.

I must warn some of you, do to the nature of Rocky Horror and the more adult side of Valentines Day, you may find some slightly offensive language and content in the paragraphs to follow. If this type of thing doesn't fit your sense of humour and isn't quite your cup of tea, go ahead and skip this post. I'll be back with a new post next week.

Now, onto the themed food!


To celebrate those infamous lips that sing to us in introduction and grace the cover of the dvd, I made lip-shaped sugar cookies! It's difficult to get a real red color with India Tree Die, so the royal icing is more of a magenta color. It's okay, 'cause it still fits (as you'll see later).


These were the first to be gobbled up. I have to admit, it's the most delicious sugar cookie I've ever made (Joy of Vegan Baking!!!).

Now for characters!

First, we shall start with my personal favourite (and probably many others'), Dr. Frank N. Furter, played by one of my heroes, Tim Curry.


Frank is a transvestite that enjoys the pleasures of both men and women as well as wearing glitter, haut couteur, sequins and platform heels (he also has an amazing singing voice!). However, there is more to this effeminate man than meets the eye. He is a mad scientist! Like Frankenstein, he learned how to create life itself using crazy colored chemicals and god knows what else in his laboratory.

In honor of Dr. Frank N. Furter, I whipped up a batch of Pigs in a Blanket. Only I didn't call them that. This vegan version of an old favourite has been renamed:



I used a homemade biscuit recipe, wrapping the dough around tofu pups and throwing them in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes. They were a huge hit! This title is not only named after the mad scientist, but also falls along the lines of sexual innuendo. I mean, they are wieners, afterall.

Then there is, of course, Frank N. Furter's prized creation, Rocky. Rocky is a buff, strong, muscle man, 'born' the day of Janet's and Brad's unexpecting visit to the castle. His perfect bod gets Charles Atlas' 'seal of approval', according to Frank.


In honor of his name, I purchased some Rocky Road Ice Cream!


Only... they really didn't have vegan Rocky Road. So instead, we had chocolate with pecans and carob with almonds. Close enough! The important part is that it had lots of nuts in it, rocky and bumpy just as Rocky's hard-as-steel muscle and rocks in his head!

Next we have Eddie. Eddie was a no-good, rebellious punk who ran away from home. He got mixed up with the 'wrong crowd' and ended up dying (cause unknown). He found his way in Dr. Frank N. Furter's hands and was brought back to life. He was even crazier in the end after emerging from the freezer on his bad-ass motorcycle.


If you haven't seen this movie, you wouldn't know that this character was played by the famous recording artist, Meatloaf. I'm pretty sure you can guess what food we had in honor of him?

You guessed it- Meatloaf.


My cousin, Robyn, whipped this up from a recipe found online. It was so delicious. I remember hating meatloaf growing up, but this is the veggie version, so of course it tasted ten thousand times better. The seasonings lended a much fancier flavour than your average loaf.

Up next is Dr. Everett Von Scott. He is a professor of physics and chemistry who ends up getting caught in Frank N. Furter's laboratory after snooping around, looking for his nephew, Eddie. Frank believes his true plan is to search for extraterrestrial life (he's onto Frank's plan).


If you know anything about this movie, you'll know that plays and theatre productions always bring in the cult fanatics, wearing boas and glitz and ruby red lipstick. They're most known for the audience interaction, in which there is a well-known script for the fans to shout out during certain scenes in movies as well as throwing items at the screen and getting up and dancing during certain numbers. Well, for Dr. Scott, what better item to throw than toilet paper? Toilet paper really has nothing to do with this character other than the fact that a huge brand name is 'Scott Tissues'.

So, Elly Blue fixed up a batch of cinnamon rolls we named 'Dr. Scott Rolls'.


We ate them with a simple sugar glaze, but to keep with the theme of the night, I sprinkled powdered sugar on one of them to somewhat resemble toilet paper.

The next characters I will present are Brad and Janet. They are an innocent, healthy couple that took a wrong turn on the way to Brad's friend and colleague Dr. Scott's house. After blowing a tire, they decided to make their way to a mysterious castle they passed a few miles back. Of course their lives were changed forever after ringing that doorbell.

Janet is a sweet, naïve woman who is a virgin in dire need of some passion.


A few scenes after cheating on her fiancé with the very persuasive Frank N. Furter, an angry song is sung to her by the Doctor himself in which this line is said: 'Your apple pie don't taste too nice!'

So very appropriately, I made 'Janet's Apple Pie'.


I got this recipe from 'The Joy of Vegan Baking'. If you do not have this book, I strongly urge you to purchase it. I haven't heard too much about it on the blogosphere, and it makes me sad. I've made several dishes from her book and I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious each and every recipe is. Everyone- including omni friends and family- just love these recipes. This was my first pie crust. The author walked the reader through it so perfectly that it came out pretty darn good! So go buy it! Now!

The apple pie, much like Janet, is sweet and sexy. But quite contrary to Frank N. Furter's opinion, this apple pie tasted quite nice!

Brad, on the other hand, is a geeky, overly-confident, egotistical man. He's a quite rude to his fiancé at times. He also took part in some cheating. So it's no wonder he was dubbed 'asshole' by the audience. Every time he appears, the whole theatre shouts it out loud, throwing popcorn at the screen.


In honor of his name, Mike made a 'Brad's Asshole Cake'.

I put this under a cut in case you don't have a sense of humour. The cake is definitely a naughty one, but much more comical than dirty.

Mike used two rounded casserole tins for a chocolate cake. Once they were done, he proceeded to shape and frost the bum cheeks. We used India Tree Natural dye for the frosting, putting in a drop of pink and a couple drops of yellow for a realistic-looking skin color.

Next is my second-favourite, Magenta. She is a 'domestic', or maid, who is a quiet watcher. She sees just about everything going on in that castle- nothing gets past her eyes.

Magenta Full New

To celebrate in honor of the name, very appropriate due to her raspberry red lips and wild red hair, I blended a Magenta Smoothie.


Nothing says 'magenta' like juicy, fresh raspberries!

Onto drinks and the remaining characters! (This is the unhealthy part of the party... so sue me!)

Riff-Raff is Frank N. Furter's lowly servant, brother to Magenta.

Riff Raff

He has a very dry sense of humour, very quiet throughout most of the movie. He's pretty bitter, so you'll find him drinking quite a bit and doing just about anything to foil his Master's plans. Spoofing Frankenstein's Igor, Riff-Raff has a hump on the top of his back, adding some creepiness to the atmosphere.

After looking online, I found a drink mix called, 'Dry Hump'. Perfect, for his dry personality, the hump on his back and, of course, the obvious connotation.


This was a very hard mix of liqours. I only had a small, taste, myself. When I do drink, I am more of a fruit mix kinda gal.

The next drink on the list is named after Columbia. Columbia is Frank N. Furter's groupie.


She's been around the castle for a long time, falling for Frank's original experiment, Eddie. She's a very loud, squeaky, fiery girl, who presents quite an impressive tap dance for us in her introductory song (with a funny tumble at the end). Thus, the drink is called 'Tap That Ass'. Another fun combo of symbolism and innuendo.


It's a very fruity drink with blends of tropical plants and organic cranberry juice. Most loved this one the best.

Lastly, I give you a very general drink, simple entitled 'Transvestite'.

The song 'Sweet Transvestite' is my absolute favourite number. It really sets the mood for the entire movie.


The drink is a blend of lemonade, vodka and peach. This was my favourite as it was very light on the liver as well as the taste buds. I stuck to this until the lemonade ran out!

Thanks for sticking around to the end. If you haven't seen 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show', go watch it, now! You might enjoy it even more if you find a play going on in your area. It's a crazy, wild, nonsensical movie that's not afraid to poke fun at sexuality in all humans and that's what makes it so great!

So good day, my unconventional conventionalists! We really must do the Time Warp again real soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dog Music?

Well, now, this is just odd.

According to this Yahoo! news article, '...a song audible only to dogs has topped New Zealand record charts, and is looking to go global.'

It's recorded at a frequency only canines can hear. It's supposed to be soothing to dogs, but there have been cases reported where the dog starts flipping out and going crazy. Other dogs, it seems to have no effect on whatsoever.

Animal Rights activists are against it because of the violent attacks it causes in some dogs. However, sales are sky rocketing. Everyone wants their dog to hear music, apparently.

What are your thoughts on this?

Personally, it freaks me out and I don't like it. Dogs can hear mid to bass tones just fine. That's how they recognize their owner's voice or jump when they hear a bang or a crash. I've never seen a dog get all excited when music was playing. In fact, high pitches usually hurt their ears and make them crazy. Why on earth would some crazy person think this invention was cool or even necessary in the least?

You want to please your dog? Here's what you do. You feed them daily (preferably organic food), give them fresh water, take them for walks, play with them, scratch behind their ears, rub their bellies and tell them how much you love them. Nothing is more pleasing to a dog's ears than the sound of their human pal's voice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nude Valentine Petits

Ah, Valentines Day. I can't tell you how many bitter people I come across who angrily curse this holiday up and down, declaring it a commercial holiday and nothing to be thought twice about. Then there are those who are all about the day, stocking up on chocolate hearts, writing and sending cards, planning fancy dates and wearing pink and red all day long. I don't know if I should be admitting to this... but I am part of the latter group.

For most of my life, I was 'flying solo'- a choice of my own (I had no time for such things as relationships!). Despite how many love birds I saw giving each other flowers and sweets and more than enough ooey-gooey affections, I just could not be bitter about the day. Granted, it's not an entirely important holiday, but it is an excuse for the creative mind to get to work!

I've always loved Valentines day, ever since I was a youngin'. Picking out, signing and bringing in cards for my classmates was the highlight of the month! Of course I never forgot to attach the little lollipops and Sweet Tarts. Once I returned home, my bag filled to the brim with Valentine wishes and candy galore, it was like Halloween all over again (but without the spooky stuff)!

As I grew older, it was fun to exchange candies and cards with my parents, who even went to the trouble of finding vegan candy upon my dietary and lifestyle changes. I'd always find a teddy bear and a rose waiting for me on my pillow after a long day of school and/or work. Of course, wanting a 'Valentine', my close friend, Janelle, and I would always claim each other (being a bit silly about it, of course) as an excuse to get each other yummy goodies and eat out at a fine restaurant on Newbury Street.

These days I have an actual Valentine. :) But that doesn't stop me from my old traditions- As a matter of fact, my other Valentine this year is my 3-year-old nephew, Kenny. He made me a little colorful paper heart (which I hung on my fridge).

Now, of course, comes the best part of this holiday- treats for everyone!

Last year I had made peanut butter balls to share with family and co-workers. The year before I made this awesome creation:

Now this year, I decided to challenge myself even further.

LoLo's Petit Fours!

In my opinion, there are yummy, sweet, happy desserts that everyone can find in just about any cookbook (cookies, brownies, pies, cupcakes, etc...) Then there are those desserts. You know the ones I'm talking about- the kind they serve in high-end restaurants and bakeries, where the flavour is like something from a dream? Not only does it taste amazing, but it always looks like heaven in a mold of sugar- pretty colors from childhood dreams, fluffy white clouds, creamy bliss and perfection. So perfect, in fact, you'd find a similar-looking treat in glittery porcelain dessert decor! This is where white chocolate, ganache, mousse, marzipan, fondant and food coloring (natural, of course) come in.

For a more visual example, those exact treats I'm talking about can be found in just about every frame of Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. I think all of her desserts were pink and white, actually!


These kinds of recipes are so hard to find, especially for a vegan.

However! I checked up on Vegan Yum Yum and found the cutest, sweetest, dreamiest dessert: Petit Fours!


Petit Fours are little, tiny cakes, covered in fondant and often decorated with buttercream, marzipan and chocolate. Just looking at them, one has to wonder, am I in dreamland?

The cake recipe is incredible! It's so simple- vanilla & lemon cake with a raspberry filling. But somehow, after layering and topping with marzipan, it becomes a magickal delight.


Of course LoLo did a wonderful job on the fondant presentation, but I didn't have as much luck. This was my first time making fondant, so I forgive myself for botching it up. I wanted a pink covering, but ended up somehow not having enough to cover all of the squares.

Oh, and it was the wrong consistency. So it looked like candle wax:


I guess I could always call them Candle Fours...

The taste of the cake inside is still devine, and so is the texture, so that is what's most important. All the taste-testers found it to be delicious and wonderous, so I know I passed on that.

As for the remaining baby cakes, what did I do? Well, I kept them naked! (Very appropriate for Valentine's Day, don't you think?) Thus, re-titling them as 'Naked Petits'.


I do plan on practicing with fondant in the near future so I can get my desserts to look as amazing and fancy as the bakery's. I found this site, which will aid me in that. My cousin is getting married in June and I already have some ideas... White chocolate, anyone? ;)

If anyone wants to purchase an extremely belated gift or if you simply wanna jot this down for next year, Rose City has an awesome traditional Valentine Chocolate Heart Box.

The chocolates are all-vegan, Belgian, some filled with creams, others solid, and they are INSANELY delicious. Heck, you should buy from them even if it isn't Valentine's Day!

Whether you are very much in love, dating, or as single as the day you were born, I hope you had a very, very wonderfully happy Valentines Day. Give a friend a hug. Write a card. Bake some goodies. Make a child smile. All in the name of the quality of life. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Usual Weekend

I'd like to start this blog by saying we've finally confirmed our studio! We had our consultation at Sanctum Sound and we were sold right away.


It definitely has a very cozy interior with nice ambiance and atmosphere for getting into the groove. It's gonna cost us an arm and a leg, of course, but hopefully our talents and perseverance will pay off in the end.

Now for the fuel:

Saturdays usually consist of fairly long practices, so I try to have some food ready for Mike and myself since we're the only vegheads of the band. This week I made How it All Vegan's 'S&M Salad'. Hence the name, this salad is supposed to be extremely spicey, mixing in 1 tsp of cayenne or red pepper flakes AND 1 tsp of wasabi. WOW! The salad seemed so yummy but I am not a fan of wasabi in the least. To me, it tastes, smells and burns like rubbing alcohol. So, in the end, I left that out. AND, being that I am a wimp when it comes to hot and spicy things, I halved the red pepper flakes, giving it just the right amount of bite without burning your tongue off.


So I guess we could call this 'Not Quite S&M Salad'. In the end, it was really good. It had sautéed tofu, butternut squash, onion, mushrooms, carrots, red pepper, cucumber, faux parmesan (toasted sesame seeds, nooch and salt blended up)with rice vinegar. It also called for 'spicy Japanese sprouts' but I had NO idea what they were talking about. Someone on the PPK suggested Kaiware sprouts, but they were nowhere to be found. Not even at an Asian market! In the end, we subbed Kaiware with alfalfa and it turned out just fine. We had ours over a bed of brown rice. It was so delicious, we finished it in the car on the way back from the studio!

Sunday afternoon was a great day, for I got back into cardio exercise! This time I was smart about it and didn't go head-first into something my body wasn't used to (I have a lot of horror stories due to my impatience). Instead of jogging right away, I did a little power walking with Mikey. We're doing our best to be active, strong, healthy and filled with stamina (it's key for those stage shows). Despite the wretched wind and rain, we had our 30 minute walk and felt better for it!

As an energizing reward, I whipped up another HIAV concotion: Ban-ini Smoothie.


It sounded so good and sweet, containing frozen bananas, soy milk, agave nectar and vanilla extract that I was quite excited about it. Banana smoothies are so similar to vanilla frappes, in my opinion, but a healthier alternative.

The only odd ingredient was the 3 tbsp of Tahini. Mike was especially wary of it. He thought it would ruin the yummy banana/vanilla flavour. Well, not one to turn down a challenge, I threw in the tahini and blended away.

The result? Well, the smoothie was very yummy and sweet with the tahini lending a very peanut-buttery taste. However, there was a downside. The after-taste was a little strange. Not so much so we couldn't finish off the drinks, but I think I'd put less tahini in there next time.

For dinner, I made lentil soup. The ingredients had called for a can of diced tomatoes and of course I ended up accidentally tossing in a can of tom sauce instead. In the end, I decided I wasn't going to waste any of the soup so we ate it with my mistake in there. It actually wasn't so bad. It was very reminiscent of pasta sauce, but that was okay.


Contains: 1 large onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 medium carrots, green lentils, veggie stalk, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (accidental), tomato paste, 2 small potatoes, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, chopped spinach & fresh parsely.

Since Mike is all lentiled-out (his mother makes lentil soup for him just about every week), I made black bean burgers as well. This isn't the recipe from V-con. This is actually a recipe my mother had used ever since I first became vegan, five years ago, and I've loved it ever since. Chickpea cutlets? Meh, okay. Seitan cutlets? I've had better. But black bean burgers? Delicious!


Black beans offer so much more flavour in burger form, plus they are extremely easy to work with. Mashing them and forming them couldn't be easier.

Of course I remember Tropical Vegan requested the recipe a while ago- I have not forgotten you! I've just been everywhere at once, but I finally got to it. :) It's posted at the end of this entry.

Lastly, for work lunch, I made V-Con's 'Prospect Park Potato Salad'.


I don't care that it's not summer time. Potato salad is amazing! I had to give all the grains a break and go for some root vegetable. Let me tell you- this isn't any typical potato salad. This is simply because of the addition of 1/4 of a cup of dijon mustard! Now, if you know me, you KNOW I am in heaven! Definitely try it out and do bring it to cookouts for your friends and family to try once the warmer weather hits. You won't be disappointed!

Black Bean Burgers:
Serves 2

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/4 cup diced and sautéed onions
2 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread, finely crumbled
1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, black pepper and onion powder (optional)
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
In large bowl, mash the drained black beans. Add the sautéed onions, crumbled bread, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add about 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs (or just enough to be able to form patties from the mixture). Using your hands, form the mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties. For a breaded burger, gently coat each patty with more cracker or bread crumbs.

In a lightly oiled non-stick pan, fry both sides of the patties. Serve with a garnish of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado or any other veggie and condiment of your choice on buns or over a bed of rice.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

... and Now it's Time for Deep Thoughts

In the beginning, I planned on making this blog not solely about food, but about my art, my music and living as a vegan in general. Well, I've been very bad about doing that. I know that I've been pretty good with the foodie updates, which is mainly what I've been striving for, but there's so much more I want to share with all of you.

My main goal is to record my ideas, recipes, experiences, creations and veg life and to communicate with other awesome veggie bloggers and 'tree-hugging-hippies' as I always love to quote (I mean it in a good way... kinda like 'taking it back'... haha). Well, this means YOU guys. And you're all so awesome and I've learned so much and am definitely looking forward to learning more and meeting new veggie friends.

That being said, my second goal was to really promote my band, Acrasjia, and tell the tales of a metal vocalist (who actually sings- using her real voice- not screams) and my journey with my band and in the music field. I hope to turn some vegans who are not metal-heads onto some metal and at the same time (and more importantly) turn some metal-heads who are not vegan onto some veganism.

Acrasjia quadtic

So do not fear, this blog will still be chock-full of food pictures and cooking/baking tales. I would never leave ya hanging with that! But I do need to get my butt in gear and start incorporating more art/music posts. I think the winter's brought me down into hybernation, but I'm gonna fight it.

Another reason I may have been slacking on the music post side of things is due to the fact that the band is writing and preparing to record, so there isn't much to detail. Hopefully after our studio consult on Saturday, we'll be getting into some heavy-duty recording. Of course I am going to be posting the mp3s as each one is mastered and completed. :)

Our aim is to record a 5-track EP at Sanctum Sound in Boston. They are a very well-known professional recording studio, working with artists from Fuel, My Chemical Romance, Counting Crows, Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Gary Cherone, Extreme to Wyclef Jean and little JoJo! So they are the real deal. We're just hoping they are good at recording heavy metal/thrashy bands because that's what we are and that music can be pretty hard to mix unless you know what you're doing. They DID record Mike Mangini, who was in a few speed metal bands, so perhaps we are in luck.

Anyway, I won't bore you with any more details.

For now, I would like to recommend a group to you who are NOT metal. Believe it or not- my style of music ranges from opera to musical to jazz to ska to rock and everything in-between.


Their name is Collide and I've been obsessing over them lately. They are a male and female duo and their sound is very trancey (but not techno), slow, soft electronic rock. What really sold me on them was the vocalist's extremely unique melodies and low, soothing voice.

Check them out and let me know what you think.

I'll be back with foodie pics on Monday. But I do urge you not to be bored by musical banter. You never know, my band just might make it and you'll be able to say, 'I used to swap recipes with the singer!' ;)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Art of Sourdough

I finally did it! I made sourdough! I was so afraid I wasn't going to be able to do it right, simply because it was all so new and unfamiliar territory. It turns out that in the end it was quite easy.

What are the big and scary steps involved? Why, it is mixing 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water, covering with a cloth and letting it sit in a warm and dry place for three days. Oh, and don't forget to give it a little mix every 12 hours.

This is the healthiest variety of sourdough, as I used all whole wheat flour in the entire recipe, though any kind of flour can be used for the bread. The starter had a very pleasant 'sour' smell. It reminded me of dressing or vinegar.

When it came time to make the bread dough, I had a little trouble at first. The whole wheat was incredibly sticky. I felt like a little kid, squishing my hands in wet goo. Luckily, with a little additional flour tossed into the mix, it turned out soft, smoothe and pliable.

After sitting over night for 12 hours, re-kneading in the morning and sitting for another 6, the bread was ready for the oven. Before I knew it, the house was smelling like a bakery!


I have to say, while a bread maker is convenient and can make some of the most fantastic, plump, gorgeous breads, I could never bring myself to use one. I know I've said on some of your pages, 'Oh, how I wish I owned one!' Well, I now realize that I really enjoy the full act of making bread by scratch. It's exciting and fun! I think a bread maker is totally worth it if you make bread often and don't have the time, but I think I'll stick to mixing, rolling and kneading, myself. Oh, and the occassional creation of sourdough starter! There's just something about the process that makes me feel more fulfilled and, as cheesy as it may sound (though I know you'll all understand), more in touch with my food and the energy provided for my body, health and well-being.


For your viewing pleasure, le close-up:


Being as bread cannot (or should not) be a complete, balanced meal, I made a hearty winter potato stew as the main course for our weekly Sunday dinner.

This stew is chock-full of potatoes, red peppers, mushrooms and veggie broth and seasoned with red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, basil, pepper and Braggs soy sauce.

For a creamy texture, I puréed two ladles of veggies with 1 cup of soy milk. Then to complete, garnished with green onions and homemade sourdough croutons and wallah!


Croutons are very easy to make. I thought they'd be more difficult but then, what do I know? I just cubed some sourdough bread, mixed with olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a tsp of thyme and tossed it in the oven on 375 for 15 minutes. They couldn't have been tastier!

...and because I love to go backwards on here, I will re-introduce the smoothie.


I think it was quite a few posts ago that I claimed I'd be back with more smoothie recipes yet somehow managed to forget about 'em. Shame on me! Smoothies- especially of the fruit variety- are so healthy and packed with energy-creating atoms. I plan on making more. I also want to buy a juicer and start growing and juicing some organic fruits. I can't think of a better way to rid one's body of toxic matter and to revitalize and energize!

So, here we are. A Sunday morning smoothie:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 cups organic apple juice
1 tsp spirulina
1 heaping tsp soy lecithin (you can find this in health food stores)
1 tsp powdered psyllium husk for good measure

Blend it all up and drink it down!

What I love about smoothies is that you can mix just about any combination and it'll end up tasting fantastic. I like to have fun with different mixtures and experiments. As a matter of fact, I have a book called Smoothies, Shakes and Frappes by Sally Ann Berk, which is filled to the brim with different mixtures and are all vegan-friendly. I was quite happy to find that the author wrote in her preface that anything containing milk or egg can be subbed with a non-dairy version or egg replacer product. How sweet as that?

And! For those of you who like to party and aren't looking for the health benefits, exactly, but just want a sweet taste and a little fun, many of these drinks go great with a little vodka mixed it. Go ahead, try it. I won't tell anyone. ;)

Whoever said smoothies are a summer time drink is outta their mind!

Speaking of summer, this last dish is quite colorful and vibrant, just like the season: V-con's Quinoa, black bean, mango salad.


I was a little hesitant to throw fruit in my salad, I must admit. I am the type of person that feels fruit should either stay by itself or be mixed with something sweet and fattening. Then I thought of The Tropical Vegan and how she puts mangos in just about anything and it got me quite intrigued. ;)

In the end, I forced myself to put those prior beliefs aside and give this dish a go. As I once said, I am not a fan of microwaves and my work has no toaster oven so I am kind of stuck with bringing in cold dishes. Therefore, I gotta keep lunches interesting. So, in went the mango.

Well, let me tell you, that was the best risk I've taken! The mango really ties the dish together. Mike, who hates all of my quinoa and lentil salads (I say 'hate' in exaggeration to bother him) said it was 'really good' due to the addition of mango.

So, maybe you have something there, Theresa. Mangoes are now on my weekly rotation. And you know where I think they'd be best? Why, right in a smoothie, of course!