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Some Like it HOT! (Vegan MoFo Weeks 1 & 2 cuz I’m a slacker)

14 Sep

Remember when I was like “I’m gonna veganize this recipe!“?

I bet ya’ll were like “YEAH, SURE MO. You never update this blog!”

But guess what, punks?! I did it! The fruits of my labor:

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And because I forgot the first week of Vegan MoFo, there’s TWO RECIPES for the price of one in this post! See that green blob on the right side of the plate? That’s my kick ass homemade green salsa. Lucky you! Go below the cut for both recipes. Hope you like it spicy, cuz this shit is HOT.

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Vegan Biscuits and Gravy!

3 Sep

I went to Portland recently, and was overwhelmed with the vegan restaurant options. One of my favorite places was the Sweet Pea Baking Company. It was a lovely little cafe with all vegan baked goods (and some gluten free options!) and excellent coffee. I ordered the vegan biscuits and gravy, and was inspired to try making my own!

And I have to admit, my version was more delicious. And it even pleased my omnivorous room mate who is dubious of all things vegan. It was “meaty” and substantial and super filling (I ate it for breakfast three hours ago and still feel stuffed). There is nothing traditional about this version, though- whole wheat flour biscuits, and a nice dark gravy supported with veggies. The perfect Southern comfort food with a whole food twist.

Without further ado, my recipe! This feeds 4-6 people, and takes about an hour to make the biscuits and 45 minutes to make the gravy. I made the biscuits two days prior and stored them in air tight containers, but they were still delicious after a quick warm up in the toaster oven.

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I’m a BIG VEGAN.

16 Jul

So I know I haven’t made a new post in like a million years. And I could give you a bunch of excuses, but whatever let’s be real.  What’s really the most important thing for you to know is that since we last spoke, I’ve gone vegan.

Yes, vegan. As in no meat, no dairy, no eggs.  As in, I only eat stuff from plants (and honey, because I’m not that hardcore). People always seem to ask, “BUT WHY!?” with a look of horror on their face (or occasionally a look of disgusted curiosity). And I don’t really have a great response, so I’ve been answering, “Because I want to see how it makes me feel.”

Before this journey into veganism, I ate vegetarian about 80% of the time. I shop at Rainbow Co-Op (a grocery store that doesn’t sell any meat), and didn’t often buy dairy because it went bad before I could finish it. Eggs and yogurt were my only constant dairy purchases. My meat intake was limited to eating at restaurants, which was cut back substantially when I was unemployed. A few months ago, I realized I wanted to take the leap into veganism to see what that change felt like. I was already so close, I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a shift.

And for the most part, veganism hasn’t really been that different, or difficult. I have a vegan roommate and many vegan friends, and access to really amazing vegan cookbooks/blogs (like The Post Punk Kitchen– or really anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz). I also live in a city where veganism isn’t frowned upon as some sort of crazy cult- most restaurants understand what I mean when I ask if a dish is vegan- or can be made vegan- and there are many really epic entirely vegan restaurants here in San Francisco.

The biggest difficulty (other than missing chocolate ice cream), has been breakfast. I used to eat an egg EVERY MORNING. It was an awesome little chunk of savory protein that made me feel full and energized and only took 5 minutes to cook. But going vegan has made breakfast a bit trickier.

I know there are tons of fake meat options, but they all have contents that have been processed within an inch of existence, and it kinda creeps me out. I like to know what’s in the food I’m eating- which is luckily usually easier on a vegan diet.

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OMG WYATT RIOT!

18 Apr

In what I can only explain as amazing luck, I spent a good chunk of my teenage years photographing and interviewing my favorite rock bands. I got pretty good at hiding my  overwhelming joy at meeting some of the most popular acts of the early 2000s. There’s no better way to lose your cool factor then by squealing “OMG I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN” to the famous person in front of you.

But guys, I almost lost it a few weeks ago when I met Wyatt Riot of “Put it in Your Mouth with Wyatt Riot,” a Portland based foodie video show. I first saw Wyatt’s show about a year ago. I was immediately taken with the hot chubby queer talking about the food of Portland, whether cooked in a restaurant or in his friends’ kitchens. I mean, this guy has the word “CHUBBY” tattooed across his belly. He’s pretty much the coolest of the cool. So when he walked into my apartment, it took every ounce of my self control not to faint from excitement.

When I heard he was going to be in town for a conference, I invited him to my place for some home cooking. Unfortunately the timing was such that I was a) broke and b) super busy getting ready for the Sister’s 33rd Anniversary, so I had to think of something fast, cheap, but still delicious. Also, it was storming like CRAZY in SF that week, so I wanted something to warm us up.

Luckily, I remembered my mom’s kick ass chili recipe. My mom is a genius when it comes to really epic, fast, easy to prepare food- and this chili is the perfect example of her mad skills. I thought I’d bulk it up a bit by making corn bread in a cast iron skillet, but that turned out horribly so I’m going to pretend it never happened and not share the recipe with you (lesson learned, kids: not all recipes on the internet are awesome). BUT the chili! It was amazing! And you can make it vegan (like I did) so EVERYONE can enjoy!

I’m now going to share with you my mom’s super secret chili recipe, so you can also impress your gaymous crush with this awesome recipe (and yes, Wyatt was just as awesome as my expectations hoped he would be!):

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Pasta! Prego!

21 Mar

I’m a fan of creating your own meals from familiar bases. With that in mind, we’ll explore one of my favorite, easy to enhance meals, spaghetti!

Pasta with red sauce is really one of the best quick dinners out there. Pasta is such a fantastic comfort food, and it’s satisfying to make a meal in two pots and less than 30 minutes.

But what do you do if you’re a foodie who just isn’t satisfied with boring noodles and sauce out of a jar?

Improvise!

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Garbannnnnzoooosss!!!!

12 Mar

So guess what!? I got a JOB!

This is awesome because I was going batshit crazy at home (I was approaching one year unemployed), but not so great because it gives me less time to update CHUBB Gourmet.

But I’m still broke (non-profit and government jobs do not pay well), so I will be forced to cook myself lunch and dinner as often as humanly possible. Which is good for you all, my dear readers. Assuming I have the time to tell you what I’ve been making.

Anyways, I have a bunch of bulk chickpeas (aka garbanzos), and decided to cruise my fave cooking blogs for inspiration. Chickpeas are great because they (like most beans) are a protein source. I also love the way they taste and feel.

The ever fabulous Smitten Kitchen had a great recipe for “Espinacas con garbanzos” that only required me to buy two additional ingredients from what was already in my pantry. The bakery up the street from my place houses Sour Flour, and they sell day old loafs for $2. That and my 89 cent can of tomato sauce was all I needed to make what is now one of my new favorite dishes. Added bonus? SUPER fast to make, and makes enough for leftovers for DAYS. Plus, it was a great way to get rid of all the spinach from my CSA box.

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A Recipe for Success!

6 Feb

A lot of people tell me they would cook more often if cooking was “easier” or “faster.” I have a revelation for you: Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. The meals I cook the most often don’t come from a recipe, or involve a bajillion steps. Most of the food I cook has three simple elements:

1. Fatty lubrication (aka olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, or butter).

2. Something oniony (aka an onion, some garlic, or a leek).

3. Salt and pepper.

No joke, ya’ll. That’s it. Cook your fave veggies in the above elements and I promise it’ll be delicious. Wanna get adventurous? Cook some sort of grain like quinoa or rice (or couscous! or pasta!) and put your delicious veggie concoction on top! Add your favorite protein source (like veggie sausage or beans) to give it some extra oomph.

The type of fat you use will really dictate the taste of the dish- I usually use olive oil because I LOVE the taste, but try experimenting with butter (for a more French taste!) or a little sesame oil (for a more Asian feel). Salt and pepper are my favorite spices, but I suggest adding salt to taste AFTER you finish cooking a dish to avoid over-salting. The onion-y thing you add depends on your personal tastes- I like using red onion for their color and flavor, but I use leeks in place of onions when they’re in season. I also tend to double the amount of garlic any recipe calls for. Cuz let’s get real: garlic is bomb. Just remember that garlic cooks faster then onion- so add it towards the end of the pan-cooking process to avoid burning it.

If you want to saute things like potatoes or carrots instead of oven-roasting them, I’d recommend parboiling them (bringing water to a boil, then putting the veggies in the boiling water for a few minutes before draining them in a colander) before cooking them in the pan- it really speeds up the cooking process!

Don’t believe my magical recipe for success? Try one of the combos below, and tell me it doesn’t work.

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