Eat Me.

Anything you can do we can do vegan.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Vegan Eco-Footprint

Part of being vegan is constantly scrutinizing and re-scrutinizing where your food comes from. While some people become vegan because of health or animal rights issues I chose veganism because what I found out about the meat and dairy industry business practices sickened me. We actually eliminated almost all eggs and dairy from our diet long before going vegan (seafood was the last to go) but learning more about the mass production of agricultural products drove the final nails in the coffin. Even though I don't feel guilt anymore for contributing to those business practices (but still horror) I have become obsessed with constantly learning more.

The dialogue on veganism seems like it has turned to what benefits it holds for the planet. So I did a little test. I took the eco-footprint quiz once as a vegan and once as someone who ate meat or dairy at every meal. As a meat eater I would require 4.4 planets to satiate my meat eating needs. Just switching to veganism reduced this number to 3.6 planets. Not a saintly number but 22% lower.

Then I took the eco-footprint quiz as if I lived in Finland as a vegan. 1.8 earths. Half of my current usage. I guess for Americans they just take the score you might have gotten in a responsible country and double it as an asshole tax.

Instead of ranting about how New Orleans has yet to establish a recycling program and just passed out huge plastic bins large enough to accommodate five human bodies I am off to search for a curry recipe that includes chickpeas and cauliflower. My roti will be done resting in half an hour and I have no idea what to serve with it!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Easter Brunch

I think it is worth mentioning our Easter Brunch even though it was a few weeks ago. We had some friends over (whose families like ours live hundreds of miles away) for a potluck brunch, mimosas and egg hunt. Plastic eggs of course.

What I did was used this gathering of friends to stage a strata show down. Strata is a savory bread pudding of sorts with eggs, milk, cheese and sausage that sits overnight in your fridge and when you wake up in the morning you sort of just shuffle out to the kitchen and stick it in the oven. It used to be one of my favorite brunch foods before we went vegan. Of course the original recipe is not vegan but with a little help from a recipe found on vegweb and another on 100 cookbooks we came up with both a savory and a sweet strata. The sweet strata was clearly the favorite among the guests but I think it might have had something to do with the maple syrup we had to go with it. In my opinion they were both fantastic.

My main reason for posting this however was the phenomenal orchid our friend Jack brought over for us that inspired some photography. And since this blog is supposed to be about both amazing recipes and amazing food photography I thought I could at least post a photo that looks good even if it isn't all about food. Click on the photos to see the complete photo set that also includes the adorable centerpiece my grandmother sent over.

Sesame-Chili Tofu Marinade

You will need:

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Dark Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Sesame-Chili Oil
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Sugar (make sure it's vegan!)


Whisk together ingredients in glass pie plate or baking dish.

Use to marinate 1 block of tofu cut into 1/2" cubes for 30 minutes.

When ready to cook tofu remove from marinade and pat dry. Use extra marinade as needed to lubricate pan.

Pad Thai

We are in love with Pad Thai. Part of what we love about it is with the right ingredients on hand it is simple and easy to prepare. But the main reason we love it is the texture of the sticky noodles covered in ground peanuts and the balance of sweet/sour/hot. We use tofu (home-made whenever possible) in our Pad Thai which gives it the protein and texture of the egg or meat found in other recipes. We also substitute carrot for bean sprout which adds a nice color and vegetable sweetness.

It took some research to find the recipe we now use. We started buying the sauce found at the store which was way to sweet and expensive. Recipes we found around the web varied wildly. Some called for tomato and no tamarind. Some recipes called for both. Some just suggested buying the pre-made sauce an Asian market (which we consider cheating). We finally decided on one that didn't call for a million cups of sugar or a can of tomato soup and made it over and over until it we found the right balance of sour, sweet and hot.

For a special treat marinate tofu beforehand in sesame-chili sauce.

Pad Thai

You will need:

16 oz. Tofu cubed or sliced (firm or extra firm - your choice!)
1-2 Large Carrots thinly sliced
Sesame Chili Oil
1-2 Tablespoons Canola or Olive Oil

For the Sauce:
4-5 Tablespoons Tamarind Concentrate
1/2 Cup Evaporated Cane Juice or other minimally refined sugar such as Sucanant
2 Tablespoons plus 2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablsespoons Siracha Hot Chili Sauce
10 Tablespoons Water

14 oz. Package of Rice Stick Noodles (Bahn Pho)
2 Litres Boiling Water

1/2 cup fresh ground peanuts

In a small bowl stir together all ingredients for sauce. Stir enough to dissolve sugar. Then add additional Tamarind Concentrate or Siracha to taste.


Bring water to boiling in large pot.

Cut your tofu into 1/2" cubes or 1/4" slices - however you like it. Heat just a dash of the chili-sesame oil and your olive or canola oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu and brown on both sides if using slices or all sides if using cubes. This should take approximately 5 minutes. Remove tofu and allow to drain on paper towel.

Now add the noodles to the boiling water. Cook for approximately five to seven minutes or until noodle is al-dente. Drain. They can be softened further when added to pan with other ingredients if need be.

While noodles cook put carrots in same heated pan used to prepare tofu. Add approximately 1-2 tablespoons water if needed to prevent sticking. Cook for about 2 minutes being careful to not allow the carrots to overcook. Turn off heat if needed to wait for noodles.

When carrots are done add noodles from strainer and re-heat pan. Pour sauce over all this and stir to coat everything. Add tofu. Cook long enough for all ingredients to get nice and toasty. If your noodles need it add water one tablespoon at a time until they have a bite to please your palate. If you need to do this consider adding tofu after this step so the nice crispy texture will not be lost.

Put in bowls, top with peanuts and enjoy!

Serves four. Recipe lends itself well to halving.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

First Post!

Allow us a moment to introduce ourselves. Two architects, married, living in New Orleans. Our mission is to provide food porn to the masses and chronicle our epicurious adventures in the city with the best food in the world. At least in our humble opinion.

Another thing : no animal products. Not because we love rabbits. Because being vegan rocks.