September 26, 2008

Dining Hall Decisions

So, I have decision-making problems: in life and at the cafeteria. Firstly, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to start a campaign to get hand dryers in all the campus bathrooms (as of now we must use paper...major waste of trees, energy, carbon) or start a Vegetarian Club. I did some ground work for both and finally, today settled on the Vegetarian Club since I think it will be funnest. I was thinking: Vegan potlucks, guest speakers, field trips to vegan restaurants, activism and education...more ideas are welcome! Now for the real decision the cafeteria. I just can never pick one thing! But that's why it's all you can eat!

This morning I got:

Tofu scramble (tofu, spices, peppers) but then I went over to the omelet station and borrowed some fresh veggies (bell peppers and tomatoes), salsa and Tabasco. Then I made style. I like to call it Miso Style Oatmeal because it reminds me of miso soup. I put about 1/4 cup oats in a bowl with some sugar, raisins and whatever kind of nuts I can get (this morning was sunflower seeds) then I fill the bowl with hot water. It's like a mixture of my morning tea and oatmeal. Some say watery, I say perfect! I made half a slice of toast w/ crunchy peanut butter, banana and sugar sprinkled on top. I grabbed a slice of melon to top it off. What a nice way to start the day.

And as the day progressed I ate even more yummy cafeteria food. For lunch I had to be creative, there were vegetarian tacos, but nothing vegan. Here's what I had:

Open faced Asian invention by yours truly. I took a slice of bread and spread dijon mustard on it. Then I put a veggie burger on that. Next I layered tomatoes, sprouts, bean sprouts and baby corn. Lastly I drizzled the thing with soy sauce. It was bomb! I will definitely be trying this again. Next time I'm thinking some Asian burger with mandarin oranges? Just a thought. Then I made a green salad w/ mixed greens, bean sprouts, white beets, and italian dressing and a little soy sauce to keep the asian thing going. Then I made what I'm gonna call Italian Cauliflower Bowl. took steamed cauliflower, raw tofu from the salad bar and vegan marinara, olives and mixed it all together. Delicious and healthy, however not asian at all. Oh, well. Of course I finished it off with more PB and banana... once you start on the peanut butter you just can't stop. 

Also, I've been emailing the Dining Administrator to try and get hooked up with some vegan cheese at the sandwich bar and it looks like their gonna help me out! They said their going to purchase "Follow Your Heart Brand", which I've never tried. 

September 23, 2008

Some Cafeteria Creations, Indian food, and a trip to TJ's

So I started off yesterday the day in the cafeteria with this:

Oatmeal w/ Raisins and Peanuts (yes I said peanuts. They were the perfect crunch in the oatmeal. I had this Idea as I passed the salad bar which has peanuts to top salads.)
Sliced Strawberries in Soymilk another creation that came to my mind as I passed the salad bar (which has fruit too in the morn)
PBB aka Toast w/ Peanut butter and Banana....yum is all I can say

So my mom came down and took me out to lunch and shopping Trader Joe's yesterday. We got some really good indian food downtown at a place recommended to me b a fellow vegan back home in Sebastopol.  
Here I am in front of's called Jumping Monkeys

And here's the side salad with some type of delicious dressing.
And this is the Masala Wrap: Crepe with potatoes, veggies and masala spices. This was so good.

Here's what my mommy got me from Trader Joe's for the dorm:

I'll definitely be doing some reviews on some of these Trader Joe's finds soon!

September 21, 2008

Eatin' Good In Neighborhood (and by neighborhood I mean the dining halls)

So being vegan in college is fun. Yes, that's the first word that comes to mind... after one day at least. It's like a puzzle, but not a hard puzzle like a rubix cube, more like a word search or something. UCSC has the dining hall options for the week listed on the net, so I check out my vegan options, and decide what cafeteria I will eat at by that. There's 5 different cafeterias each with different options depending on the night. Here was what I had today:

oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, and soymilk
watermelon slices

vegan taco: rice, black beans, guac, tomatoes, salsa
salad: fresh mixed greens from UCSC farm w/ tofu, corn, peppers and vinagrette
corn on the cob rolled in tabasco and salt

So I flaked and missed the dinner hours in the cafeteria, so I had to resort to the microwave for dinner. I had this Indian chickpea thing which was probably better that the dining hall food and all I had to do was press a couple buttons! It's a premade package from Trader Joe's called Indian Fare: Punjab Choley and was delish and spicy! I also had some fruit I slipped in my bag from the dining hall and my trusty Trader Joe's tamari almonds.

Vegan Lesson #1: There's way more vegan food and most of it rocks....and corn on the cob rolled in Tabasco rocks too!

1st Day of School, 1st Day Vegan!

Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz

So I don't have time to write much about this life changing event, but it went quite well! Went out to lunch at a vegetarian burger joint called Saturn Cafe in downtown Santa Cruz and got a vegan BLT and tortilla soup which were both good. Then had dinner in the cafeteria: Vegan Chili (muy bien), salad (greens with tofu, beets, and vinaigrette) and a pb and j. Then of course I got hungry and had trail mix back at the dorm.......success! Hopefully more, better posts coming soon!

September 9, 2008

Emma's Yellow Raisin Cookies

One thing I'm gonna miss about home when I live in the dorms is my oven. I love baking: everything from Linzer Tortes to Red Velvet Cakes. So when I had some free time on my hands today I decided to make my first batch of vegan cookies.
So my dad makes the best carrot cake in the world. Hands down. No question. So when I was deciding what type of cookies to make I took some inspiration from some of the key ingredients in his recipe: yellow raisins, nutmeg, coconut. They have a basic chocolate chip cookie base(no chocolate chips obviously!), but I added my own ingredients and then messed with dough for the right consistency. These rocked! No really these we're so good, like chocolate chip cookies blended with snickerdoodles and then some new flavors. They were crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside, just how I like 'em. The perfect treat with a nice cold glass of non-dairy milk!

Emma's Yellow Raisin Cookies
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup raw white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp. powdered sugar

1. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Set over to 350.
2. Mix first 7 ingredients.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in a mixer.
4. Make 1 1/2 inch diameter balls and put on greased cookie sheet, press lightly with flat surface.
5. Mix topping and sprinkle over cookies.
6. Bake for about 12-18 minutes, erring on the less time. (better to chewy than too hard!)
7. Let cool and eat!

I will definitely be making these again, and probably within the next week, since after that I'll have no oven!

September 8, 2008

Spicy Peanut Ramen: Dorm Friendly!

So I was feeling lazy yet creative yesterday and decided to make my first vegan-prep recipe. We had left over Top Ramen from backpacking, so I decided to give the college student's favorite meal a vegan makeover. It was undoubtedly a major success. I used all items I will have in my dorm room (if I nab a lemon from the soda area in the cafeteria) and it was wonderful. In fact, I saved the three bites I didn't eat so I could have them later.

Spicy Peanut Dorm Room Ramen

1 package ramen (any flavor since we wont use flavoring)
1.5 T creamy peanut butter
1 C + 2 T water
1 tbs soy sauce
1t lemon juice
2t rice vinegar (or more lemon juice)
1/2 t hot sauce
a few chunks tofu (I used Willowood Brand spicy Thai flavor)
2 chopped baby carrots
2 chopped green beans or any crunchy veggie I can find
handful of crushed nuts (I used Chili Lime Cashews from Trader Joe's)

1. Crush ramen in package. Dump contents into bowl with 1 cup water and microwave for two minutes. Drain excess water.
2. Add peanut butter, rest of water, lemon juice, vinegar and hot sauce and mix well.
3. Sprinkle rest of ingredients on top.
4. Enjoy.

This was quick, CHEAP, delish, kinda healthy and good cold too! What more could a vegan college student want??

September 4, 2008

A Long and Exciting Road: The Vegan's Hundred

Well this looked kinda fun. And it was... It was humbling to see how little I've experienced and exciting to see realized how how much I have to explore!
1. Natto

2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. Peanut butter & jelly sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough