Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays!

We had a Solstice dinner last night of mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, garlic and tofurkey. This was the first time I had actually cooked a tofurkey and it came out really well.
I don't defrost much nowadays and it completely slipped my mind to take the frozen tube out of the freezer. So, instead of the hour and a half it is normally suppose to take, it took 3. We ended up eating at about 10 pm, but it worked out well and I was able to get a lot of stuff done for the holidays.

Gift shopping is just about done, and all I really have left to do is finish my grandma's blanket, bake goodies for friends and family and have a picture developed.

Baking will be this weekend so I *SHOULD* have many more pictures to put up before Christmas.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wow! It's been forever!

Sorry about the non existent posts. I've been really busy and haven't been able to cook as much. I moved again within a short span of about four months... So life has been fairly hectic. As soon as I find my digital camera in one of the boxes (the move was actually this week so I'm still unpacking) I'll be able to post more pics of food.

I was also blessed enough to get three new collections to my recipe book stack, Veganomicon, Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and Vegan Baking. All are just amazing. Non vegans even love the recipes so much they ask for them. I actually need to sit down and plan all the recipes I'm going to be preparing soon :)

Other than that, I have some pictures from a Mexican Fiesta that I never posted.

I made a soy ceviche, guacamole (not shown), a Mexican casserole with chreese and a peanut butter, banana, chocolate philo pastry. It was my first experience with philo dough and thankfully wasn't as hard as I had imagined it. I had put off working with the dough for a while now because I thought it would be too hard and too much of a hassle to use. It turned out great though!

I also fell victim to the survey thats being passed around and figured why not :P
  1. Favorite non-dairy milk? -So Nice-chocolate (strangely its the only chocolate milk (vegan/nonvegan) that I like)

2 . What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
AHHH there’s so many. I really want to try the Chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, along with its chile cornmeal crusted tofu and chewy chocolate raspberry cookies.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I still cannot get the apple cake to work. It comes out looking really pretty and then tastes like bread L

5. Favorite pickled item?
Pickles themselves! I love pickles!

6. How do you organize your recipes?
I use my computers to keep track of all my recipes that I love. I also have a file cabinet that keep track of each type of recipe in meal type order for backup!

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash and recycle.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
Foods or meals? I’d for sure bring garlic, bread, and mushrooms.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Easy bake oven :P

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Butter Pecan.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Food processor.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Garlic. Hands down.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Sinfully Vegan-by far, not my favorite.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Orange Marmalade.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Lemon garlic pasta from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Espresso machine.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Frozen peas, Frozen blueberries, Frozen corn.

20. What's on your grocery list?
Too many items. I’d be poor if I bought them all lol!

21. Favorite grocery store?
Frazier Farmers, Sprouts.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Pecan Pie.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
I have so many blogs that I read, but I’d have to say my top three are:

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Hmmm. I don’t really have a favorite chocolate bar, but Endangered Species chocolates are wonderful!

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Um, maybe philo dough?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pita Sandwich and Apple Bread

I love a good pita sandwich. For another hot day, I didn't feel like preparing a lavish meal and instead threw together one of my boyfriend's favorite meals.

This pita has vegan mayo, sauteed mushrooms and onions, garlic and rooster sauce.

This was the apple bread I made, it was a bit dry, but the apple part came out really well.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Super hot weekend and Caribbean Curry

Wow! What a hot weekend! I was melting in my home, trying to stay inside and keep creative. I barely turned on my computer due to the heat it produced. I had wanted to cook something that went well with the heat, and somehow ended up making a Caribbean curry. I know this blog should be called "All About Curry" instead of The Happy Tomato since I cook so many curries, but what can I do?

This was actually really different from the normal curry I make, and was really a nice combination of spicy and sweet. It has bananas, apples, black eyed peas, beans, onions and garlic along with spices in it. It tasted delicious and went perfect with the hot day! Paul is shown below modeling a plate of it nicely for the camera.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tofu Katsu and Cake

One of the meals I miss since being vegan, is the Japanese dish Kastsudon. I figured, why not try and make the cutlet part out of tofu? I froze the tofu and thawed it out to make it a bit chewier and then covered it in panko with the help of soy milk. The panko didn't stay on as well as I liked so I'll have to try a few more additions to make it work a bit better. I used a spicy curry with mushrooms for the sauce. I was very happy with how the meal came out and will definitely try it again soon!

I also mad a quick and simple pineapple upside down cake. Everyone seemed to get to it before I could take a picture however...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Adobo, Lumpia and soap!

When I was a kid, one of my friend's mom would always make wonderful Philipino food. Two of my favorites were adobo and lumpia. I wanted to try and veganize the meal and gave it my best shot today. The lumpia was actually really good. I used fake ground beef with sauteed onions for the filling and used the rooster sauce as, well, the sauce.

The adobo however, came out way to salty and will have to be worked on. I'm not sure if it was just the fake chikn or the amount of soy sauce used.

The picture isn't the best, but you get the idea.

I'm also working on making my holiday presents. Soap is by far my favorite to make and is one of the most relaxing things for me to do. I use an olive oil base, so there are no animal products in my soap. I have so far green tea soap, holiday wassel , chai tea, and lemon grass apricot. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A little slow...

So I've been a little bit slow at getting back to my blog. I've cooked some meals, but haven't imported the images onto my computer yet. I have a lot of great new ideas and a couple extra things I want to look into, but to say the least, these last couple of weeks I've been either really busy or really lazy.

I PROMISE to get back going soon and into my normal habit of things. But for now, I thought I'd share so pictures from Nebraska with you all. Hope you enjoy! (Some of the pics need to be expanded before they look right lol. The sitting picture however is just low quality :( )

This is the river where my great uncle had his ashes spread. He grew up near this river and would play in it when he was a kid. It was a beautiful and moving ceremony.

This is my favorite picture out of all of them. My cousins foot and a curious prairie dog!

Flower by Devil's Tower.

Yay bison!

Sitting down!

My grandmother loved this tree so I took a shot for her. It is a twisted and mangled looking tree with lots of character. The trees surrounding this one were normal and straight. I like to think this tree has a story :)


Friday, August 03, 2007

Finally Back!

Hi everyone!

I finally am back. My trip to Nebraska was a lot of fun and I was able to get a lot of great photos and meet a lot of amazing people. As soon as I came back, I started to move into my new place. I'm really excited about the new place because of the size of the kitchen. This is a huge difference to me as I was working from a single hot plate before :) As soon as I get completely moved in, I'm going to be posting a ton of new dishes! Keep watching!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Finals are over...

So I've been a bit out of the blogging due to finals. With really no time to cook, I didn't have much to show you. However, I can happily say they're now over. I had my share of many sleepless nights and can now finally enjoy a small break.

I'm going to be going on a trip to Nebraska for about a week and a half. I'll be flying from California to Denver, CO and then driving to South Dakota and then to Nebraska. Hopefully, I will be able to take pictures of what I ate during my trip so I can update everyone when I get back.

Since I don't have any good food images, I'll update with a happy image of one of my finals that I spent hours and hours on.
I'm just kidding. That was me messing around when I should have been doing my projects....
Here's the real one.
This is a 3d model I did in 3D Studio Max and Photoshop CS2. This was for my 3d environment class and was built from a concept that was given to me. It is designed to go into games and was made with 4 texture maps.

For those of you who read this whole post, I'm sorry if this didn't make much sense. I'm walking in my sleep right now :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Polenta. A very interesting meal. I found some at the store and figured it would be a fun thing to try, never having made it before.
I start cooking by sauteing onions and such and I realized I didn't have an ingredient. So, logically, I asked my boyfriend to go to the store for me. On his way out the door, I asked him to take out the trash. Unfortunately for me, the trash was where the polenta cooking instructions were. So I gunned it. I have no idea if this was how it was suppose to taste, but it wasn't bad. It had a nice corn meal like texture and added a sweetness to the dish. Maybe next time, I wont throw away the directions. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Potato Curry and Cranberries

I made a potato curry with brown rice the other day. It was pretty good, but I feel that it would taste better with peas in it to give it a bit more flavor. I was also strangely craving cranberry sauce and had a can of it in my cabinet. It has to be one of the most unhealthy type of cranberry sauce, but I figured why not. So I had some :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Morning French Toast!

Today, I wanted to make a good breakfast. I'm not normally a breakfast person and will just have a breakfast bar or piece of fruit. However, due to the massive amounts of stress during my final week (this week X_X), I felt I should relieve the stress by making some french toast.
This recipe is basically soy milk, flour, sugar, and cinnamon mixed together to make the french toast mixture. I actually think it came out better then the non-vegan french toast because it doesn't have the strong taste of eggs (obviously).
I had french toast with maple syrup and powdered sugar while my boyfriend, who couldn't wait for me to take the picture before he ate two pieces of it, had strawberry jam and powdered sugar on his.
Cookie, my landlady's goat, came over for a visit as well. We had to hold her back before she ate the toast herself :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shitake Tofu

I had a few things left in the fridge and decided to throw it all together to make dinner today. Shitake mushrooms with tofu and green onions. I made it with a lot of sauce to be able to pour it over the rice. I know I'm obsessed with Asian cuisine and stir fry-ish foods, but really, I can't help it!

I started listening to the Vegan Freak Podcast and find that it's packed with a bunch of helpful and informative information about veganism. I'm new to the whole podcast thing, and will have to listen to other vegan blogs and give you guys the get go :) I find they're always best to listen to when at the gym. Gives you fuel for working out!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Asian Noodles

Being part Japanese, I was heavily raised on tofu, noodles and vegetables. Without my grandma being able to cook now, and without my favorite childhood recipes; I am slowly trying to piece together and prepare these old dishes.

This dish was basically a stir fry with somen noodles instead of the rice and was more "soupy". The tofu was my trial of frozen tofu and it came out great. It completely gives it a different texture and taste. I'll have to have more frozen tofu adventures in the near future.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

White Chili

My favorite soup when I was a kid was the amazing white chili. It was a clear/white base with great northern beans, chicken and lots of lime. I've not had this chili for years, and since going vegan I had pretty much shoved it out of my mind. It came to mind that I wanted to try and make it again, veganised. Here is my first shot, it didn't come out as well as I wanted it to, but it wasn't bad. Maybe after a couple more tries I'll get it just right!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cupcakes, Kevin and the Did You Knows!

Over the weekend, I was at my friend Amy's house and we had a little bakefest. We made two types of cupcakes (unfortunately, I was only able to get one type of cupcake in picture because I destroyed my camera phone...but that's another story.) We made cupcakes from VCTOTW, the chocolate cherries and the Lime coconut. They were soo good! VCTOTW is seriously, one of my favorite books.

Here is a picture of the chocolate cupcakes and little Kevin eating his.

The only issue I have with making the cupcakes, is that the frosting seems to melt within five minuets of sitting out. I use Earth Balance so I am wondering if that is the reason. If anyone has any solution to this, PLEASE let me know :)

On another vegan food blog, Vegan Vice, she lists a series of "Did You Know" facts she got from a Native Foods flyer. I found it to be very helpful for quick facts about food and the effects it has on our planet. I've listed the list from her website below.

Pollution: The meat industry causes more water pollution in the United States than all other industries combined because animals raised for food produce 130 times more excrement than the entire human population does - 86,000 pounds per second. A typical pig factory farm generates a quantity of raw waste equal to that of a city of 50,000 people, but without the sewage system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the runoff from factory farms pollutes our rivers and lakes more than all other industrial sources combined.

Land: Of all agricultural land in the United States, nearly 80 percent is used to raise animals for food. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals. Twenty times more land is required to feed a meat-eater than to feed a pure vegetarian.

Water: Raising animals for food consumes nearly half the water used in the U.S. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. Also, the EPA reports that chicken, hog, and cattle excrement have polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states.

Global Warming: Meat production causes global warming. The massive amount of animal feces produced in factory farms is the largest source of airborne methane in the U.S. According to the EPA, methane traps heat in the atmosphere more than 20 times more effectively than carbon dioxide does.

Energy: Raising animals for food requires more than one-third of all the raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S. Satisfying our appetite for flesh requires fuel to produce fertilizer for the crops that are fed to animals, oil to run the trucks that take them to slaughter, electricity to freeze their carcasses, and much more.

Animals: You can't be concerned about the environment without caring about our fellow inhabitants, the animals. They're made of flesh and blood, have complex social and psychological lives, and feel pain, just as humans do. More than 27 billion animals are killed by the U.S. meat industry each year, and they're killed in ways that would horrify any compassionate person.

"If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is stop eating meat. That's the single most important thing you can do."---- Sir Paul McCartney

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Great Mendoza Pasta

This is a super easy dish to make! My friend Paul had shown me this pasta, and I had altered it to make it really stand out to my tastes and to also make it vegan. The cheesy top is the vegan Parmesan, which actually really tastes like Parmesan.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tacos and Mexican Rice

Tacos with Mexican rice! I ran out of tomatoes for the actual tacos because I put too many in the rice itself. The dish came out great. I used Gimme Lean for the taco "meat" and added my own make of taco seasoning.

The rice was a simple mix of spices, black beans, tomatoes and chilies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chana Masala

I have my camera working..somewhat... I need to find a charger for the poor thing!

This was a tasty curry dish made of chickpeas and onions. It came out smooth with a nice rich taste to it.

I really love chickpeas and am messing around to see what new foods I can make with them. Hopefully, more to come soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Hey guys,

Sorry its been so long since I've posted. My camera is out of commission right now and until I can get that up and going again, no food post :( I'm working on it! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spicy Gnocchi

For some reason my camera is taking really blurry pictures and I'm not sure why. So you're going to have to forgive me until I can figure it out.

I made Spicy Gnocchi the other day and added extra garlic and spice. It came out great! I actually wish there was more left. It was just a standard basil and garlic flavored gnocchi and pasta sauce with added spices for yumminess.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Chris Day!

So it was Chris week over at my house! A special week just for the cheering up of my honey. I made him asparagus and mushrooms today, as they're his favs! It actually turned out really well!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spicy Forrest

Before I created this blog, one of my favorite Vegan Bloggers had this Spicy Buffalo Chick'n Wrap that I was dying to try. You can check out the Website here: Journey of a New Vegan .

I changed up the recipe a bit and created a Lettuce Wrap with Spicy Strips. My boyfriend called it the Spicy Forrest, hence the name. I used New Vegan's ranch recipe and I have to say, IT IS AMAZING! Everyone needs to try it out :)

Anyhow, here are the pics :)

This is the chick'n cooking in it's yummy sauce!

And here is the finished product!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I finally got my copy of Vctotw in the mail! I was so excited, I wanted to try them right away. (I had been waiting for weeks!)
I made the Coconut Lime cupcakes from Vctotw and they were absolutely amazing! I only had one picture really come out so my apologies! Anyways, I didn't think it would come out half as good as they did. Honestly though, I've never had a better tasting cupcake EVER. They were moist and fluffy. Just perfect for a summer snack. I can't wait to try more from the book :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Breakfast in Bed

Today was busy day so I wanted to make something quick and easy. This is a tofu scramble with green onions, mushrooms, and lots of fresh garlic. On the side I have fake sausage which was cooked in maple syrup.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dinner Party

With lots of mismatched food, a group of people, movies and games, Friday night was a hit.

We had stuffed mushrooms,Spicy Indian Rice (from VwaV),Jerk Portobello Mushrooms (from Vegan Planet), Pasta,and for dessert,CHOCO-RASPBERRY BLONDES! (from VwaV)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Strawberries and Japanese Curry

I know what you're thinking. This is the 2nd curry dish I've had in a short amount of time and every meal I’ve made has some rice in it. I promise you, there’s more to come. I just happen to love rice and curry being brought up in an Asian home and find its one of my weaknesses. ☺

I cut up a bunch of fresh strawberries for a snack while the guys were playing video games. I set it down on the table and it was gone within a few minuets. I was very sad I only got a few ☹

For dinner, I made the Japanese curry with potatoes and mushrooms. There is pita bread to go with it, as it is always perfect for dipping.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Soy Jerky and Cuban Black Beans Over Rice

While shopping for some ingredients for the night’s dinner, I came across some vegan jerky that I had not seen before. Now, I've had vegan jerky before. Usually it's in a circular shape with what looks to be the texture of a fruit roll up (although much tougher). The jerky normally doesn't go well with me and I will end up feeling sick after eating it.

This jerky however looked a bit different and I want to go ahead and try it. Despite the interesting smell, the jerky was really good and had a good texture. I didn't get sick afterwards which is great news. The company is called, Tasty Eats. I had the Tandoori Chick'n flavored one, which was really quite interesting.

For dinner, I made Cuban Black Beans over rice with extra tomatoes. I put in jalapeños to make it extra spicy.

I was having trouble with the lighting for the camera, so you’ll have to excuse my images.