Madelyn Eats is simply one vegan’s love affair with food. Every day, I try to create delicious vegan food for myself, for friends, and for strangers. Most of this food finds its way into the mouths of people who are not vegan, and starts to open people to the possibilities of compassionate cuisine. All the food is vegan, of course, but not all is super healthy or claims to be. Some days I want raw kale chips. Some days I need to make triple layer cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. Here, you will join me on my adventure with compassionate food of all kinds. Grab a napkin. This might get messy but it will be fun.
Yesterday we had an unexpected surprise. While I was getting my latest batch of prenatal vitamins at Whole Foods, and the salad dressing I was craving that day, I spotted two words that separate hold little meaning. Combined, these words made my head snap to the side to confirm I had seen what I thought I saw. Those words? Vegan Doughnuts. For a very long time, unless you lived by Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland or one of the select other outlets smattered around our great nation, it’s been next to impossible to find vegan doughnuts.
These were cake doughnuts – one plain, and five with assorted frostings. I cringed as I picked up the plastic box expecting a price tag on the bottom that would give me a heart attack. After all, this is Whole Foods or as most of us say “Whole Paycheck”. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the entire box of six was a meager $5.50! That’s not bad at all! It was in my shopping cart before my husband could blink.
I took pictures when I arrived home. They could look better – the young man bagging my groceries put the box in upside-down – but I wanted to document these gossamer apparitions before they were gone. Into the fridge they went to keep them fresh while I started getting ready for the evening. In the back of my mind I kept hearing the siren call of Vegan Doughnuts…. Eat us, come try us….
Well, now it is the next morning and I have tried the plain cake doughnut, and the ‘strawberry frosted’. I put that last one in quotations because it had pink frosting. The frosting tasted… pink? Frosting like? Standard? Those words all come to mind.
The cake doughnut itself was good. It was moist and had a good flavor. It was not overly greasy. My kitty Halo took the crumb bite I offered her and asked for more, making it a hit with the feline crowd.
My summary is if you are in the Phoenix area, we found these at the Whole Foods on 101 and Ray. They did satisfy that ‘need’ for a vegan doughnut, but I would probably not get them again. They were inexpensive, and ok, but they were just that – ok. It really did make me want to break out our fryer and start working on making some vegan doughnuts of our own.
So where have I been? It is 120 degrees here in Phoenix and I am very, very pregnant. I really was unprepared for how much the pregnancy kick my booty – mentally and physically. I have managed to keep up with my cooking classes and most of our local catering but The Vegan Taste has been neglected and for that I am so sorry.
What I have learned is that in order to find a better balance back in my life I need to make sure that I have good food with me at all times, but remember how I am tired all the time? That means I need easy and good food. Enter my latest food obsession – the easy hummus wrap.
Basically, you need some manner of flat bread. For this, I have used tortillas or some nice whole wheat flatbreads from Trader Joes which is what I am using for the wrap in this photo. After this, I need three essential components – tomatoes, cucumber and hummus. Why? Because I have been craving cucumbers and tomatoes. Did I mention how hot it’s been? The hummus gives me protein and a little fat (from the tahini) which I need right now. The wrap that is pictured also has green onions and lettuce because that is just good eating.
If you have a few veggies, some hummus, and some kind of bread around, why not make a sandwich or wrap? It comes together in no time, travels well, and makes a refreshing but filling meal. Enjoy this summer staple, and let me know what you combine! I would love to hear from you.
Summer is here. For some of you, in far flung places, this is a time to be outside, play and have fun. Here in Arizona it is 110 degrees already. Yes, 110 degrees. I understand that we have air conditioning but it strains to make it tolerable. Add to this the fact that I am very into my pregnancy at this point and all I can say is it is HOT.
That means that I don’t want to eat tons and tons of warm food right now. At night, sometimes I still want some warmed soup, but for the most part I want ice water, fresh food, and to not spontaneously burst into flames. And at 110 degrees, and climbing, this outcome feels like it is part of the realm of possibility.
Looking to the cuisine of people across the globe who also have to deal with hellish summers is a great way to go. I have been very inspired by African and Middle Eastern food recently. These are cuisines that developed without air conditioning! My pregnant mind boggles at the very thought. Seriously.
This was a creation of mine recently. It was light, refreshing, and darn easy to make. Darn easy to make is also a huge bonus since my feet decided to become the size of watermelons. A few notes about this dish. Most of the carbs come from the whole wheat couscous. They are good carbs, but if you want, eliminate them, the water and spinach, and just add in two more cups of cabbage. If you want less fat, 95% of the fat comes from the sunflower seeds. Again, it’s good for you, but if you can’t do the fat, eliminate those and add 1 cup of well rinsed, cooked garbanzo beans instead.
Jeweled Green Couscous
Makes 4 servings
2 cups of cooked whole wheat couscous (about 1 cup uncooked plus 1 ¼ cups of water)
2 cups of packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons of sweet white vinegar (I like to use white balsamic vinegar)
¼ cup of water
1 large bunch of kale
½ cup of shredded green cabbage
½ cup of shredded red cabbage
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup of small grape tomatoes
Cook the couscous. I boil the water and place the dry couscous in a shallow, heat proof bowl. Once the water boils, dump it over the couscous and wait for 5-10 minutes until the tiny pasta has absorbed all the water. While the couscous is cooking, blend the baby spinach with the ¼ cup of water and the 2 tablespoons of sweet white vinegar. Pour over the couscous and toss so it will turn a pretty green. Cut the kale into thin strips. Shred the cabbage. Add them with the couscous. Plate the couscous and top with the sunflower seeds, cranberries and grape tomatoes.
Has it really been THAT long since I posted?
I am so embarrassed. ;<
Now that is out of the way, I should tell you why. My mom’s move was physically hard on both of us. She shielded me from the worst of it, but it drained us both. I am not that hard to drain right now, because the pregnancy has left me pretty tired. I am lucky that I am healthy and so is the baby, but I get tired very easily. So every day I think, “I need to post” and I end up taking a nap. Sad, but true. But, I made a backlog of recipes, so I can start being more consistent. And, if I was going to come back, I thought, “Well, let me give them one of my favorites”.
When I first became vegan, I was in college. Money and time were in short supply. Also, since I was the only vegan in the house, whatever I made I was going to eat until it was gone. I loved egg salad sandwiches before the switch to being vegan, so after the switch I embraced tofu salad. But plain tofu salad can be, well, plain. Back then, I was happy to eat food simply because it was vegan. Now, I want more.
This sandwich is ‘more’. A gourmet and upscale sandwich, this is every bit as easy to assemble as a ‘plain’ sandwich, but the flavors and colors will impress even your most ardent foodie friends. The capers give it a nice salty pop, while the red bell pepper gives it a nice lush quality. I did make this healthier by dividing the vegenaise in half and replacing the other half with yellow mustard. It complements the flavors and gives the flavors a nice pop. Serve with a whole grain sandwich bun and some lettuce leaves, or to make it even lighter, serve it with lettuce leaves.
Sweet Curry Salad
Makes about 4 large sandwiches
1 package of firm tofu, water packed, 16 oz, drained and diced into 1/3 inch dice
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and diced
3-4 tablespoons of drained capers
1/2 a cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
2-4 green onions, roots removed and sliced
1/3 cup of vegan mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
¼ cup of prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon of sweet white vinegar
2 tablespoons of curry powder (I used Sweet Curry from Penzeys)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 sandwich buns
At least 4 leaves of lettuce
Drain and dice the tofu into cubes about 1/3 inch large. Dice the celery and cucumber and roasted bell pepper. Slice the green onions. Drain the capers. Place all those ingredients in a bowl with the vegan mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and curry powder. Gently fold together and once combined, taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed. Place on the sandwich rolls with the lettuce and enjoy.
Nutritional Information without Buns
I am in the process of helping my mom move. I had no idea how physically and emotionally draining this would be, honestly. My mom has lived in her current home for more than 10 years. It was where we fled after her marriage to David went sour. He got our other house, mom got out with her life after he pulled a gun. In that house I learned how to sew, became vegan, and found my first kitty, Rocchet (pronounced Rocket). There was also the time my dog sister scared two nice LDS young men so badly thy threw all their literature up in the air and ran down the street to pray… but that is another story for another day.
Packing and unpacking all those memories is a lot of work! Just moving my collection of comic books took four of us some hours. This is all being done while it is getting hotter and hotter here. When it is 88 in Phoenix, we think its not that bad, until you are hauling heavy boxes back and forth. Of course, I am not allowed to carry anything too heavy because of being pregnant, but I still get worn out!
I am billing this smoothie as a pick-me-up because I tend to have it after a hard day. If I need a break I can whip up one of these and it is just what the doctor ordered – cold, creamy, full of fiber and most of all very tasty. Try one next time the heat climbs and you need something healthier than a milkshake to just relax with, or try it for breakfast.
Orange Sunrise Smoothie
Makes 1 Serving
Time to prepare: 10 minutes
1 small orange, peeled and deseeded
1/3 cup of mango chunks
1/3 cup of pineapple chunks
½ cup of ice
½ cup of vegan yogurt
1 cup of almond milk or other vegan milk
OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon of agave nectar or real maple syrup
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
I can see Jason cringing that the words Mexican and Pizza are associated with this dish. I have to explain. When I was a teenager, I loved Taco Bell. This was back in my muggle days when I ate anything. I shutter now to think about what I ate, but the Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell was one of those dishes. It was crispy, creamy, and tasted vaguely of chemicals. I ate it anyway.
Now I have been vegan for years, and I enjoy a much healthier lifestyle. MUCH. But I enjoy some of those old combinations. I found that I can make an epic version of this old favorite with just a few ingredients. This is best eaten right away, as that is when the tortilla is the most crisp.
If you have a few ingredients and a few moments, enjoy.
Madelyn’s ‘Mexican Pizza’
Makes 1 serving
1 tortilla (I love the ‘spicy’ whole wheat from TJ)
¼ cup of vegan cheese (I use Daiya cheddar)
¼ cup cooked, rinsed and drained black beans
1-2 tablespoons cooked green chilies
About 2-3 tablespoons of homemade or store bought Pico de Gallo
½ teaspoon hot sauce
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place your tortilla in and sprinkle with the vegan cheese and beans. Sprinkle on the cooked green chilies, then cover and cook about 10 minutes, until crispy. Remove from heat and add the homemade Pico de Gallo and hot sauce. Eat and enjoy.
A heavy skillet, at least the size of your tortilla
When I was a kid, my mom and I would carefully crack the hardboiled eggs we were about to color. Where other kids dunked eggs and were done, I would soak mine for 30 minutes or more. The day after Easter, mom would start the tradition of the week of colored egg salad sandwiches! I could see the dye colored chunks in my sandwich. It was something I looked forward to all year! Now, I am vegan so the thought of actual eggs makes me sick on multiple levels and I am now aware of how bad artificial dye is for you! No more easter egg kits for me! Instead, I have vegetable based color. It is not as bright, but it won’t give me cancer or affect my cognition, so I am ok with that.
Egg-less Salad, Easter Edition
Makes 4 servings
1 package of aspic packed tofu, firm, 14 oz
Divide the package into 5 portions. Dye 4 of them using natural food dyes by dropping a few drops on that portion of crumbled tofu. I recommend using containers you don’t care about, in case it dyes the container. Set to the side
1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
¼ cup of vegan mayonnaise (I used original vegenaise)
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced dill pickle
2 tablespoons diced red onion
½ teaspoon black salt (to give the salad that ‘eggy’ flavor
4 sandwich buns
In a bowl, combine all the crumbled tofu with the yellow mustard, vegan mayonnaise, diced celery, dill pickle, diced red onion, and black salt. Stir gently. Serve on sandwich buns.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (Without bread)
Bowls for dyeing the tofu
A bigger bowl for making the salad
Measuring cups and spoons
Knife and cutting board
Bigger spoon or spatula for stirring the salad
The subtitle for this blog is “There and Back Again, a Hobbit’s Food Travel”
So this is not much of a vegan food story as it is a travel log, but it is still worth sharing! I started my travel off by getting to the airport early. The night before I made hearty sandwiches of whole wheat bagels, Tofurky pepper slices, mustard, Vegenaise, tomato, pickle and even a ‘cheddar’ Daiya slice. Those were great sandwiches. My flight was going to be a 5 hour non-stop, not counting my time at the airports, so I wanted to be prepared. I also had baggies of cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumber. Baggies of vegetables are great for flights because they are easy to nibble on and low mess. After stopping at Starbucks to get a Cool Lime Refresher, I was ready!
My flight went off without a hitch, really. I even had an empty seat between me and the gentleman next to me. That should have been a portent of scary things to come. By the time I arrived in Newark, got a car, and was ready to drive off, it was 7pm and getting dark quickly. I had been up since 3am, so all I really wanted was my hotel, but I knew I was going to need some food. I found a Whole Foods that was supposed to be 10 minutes from my hotel. I plugged that into my GPS and started driving.
The Whole Foods was having a bridal show, complete with DJ. A DJ in a grocery store? The music was at ear splitting nightclub levels. I am not supposed to have the baby around anything that loud, and sadly, the DJ was playing right by the produce. I headed over to the prepared foods. It was just dinner, right? Maybe something for breakfast? I grabbed some vegan yogurt and Chia Pods for that, a nice tea for the hotel, and then went to the hot foods area. What I was not prepared for was how vegan UNFRIENDLY that Whole Foods was! There were four vegan options – that was it. They had two vegan pizzas, and two wraps – one with Beyond Meat and one with plain, naked tofu. The wraps were not going to work as Beyond Meat gives me a headache and plain tofu is plain so I grabbed some pizza.
I went back to the car, noted it was getting pretty cold, and found to my horror that the GPS had stopped working. Worse, Enterprise refused to do anything about it. I was pregnant, after dark, in a strange city with no way to get to the hotel in a city of very confusing freeways. I did what anyone would have – I cried. Not a little, I actually wet the steering wheel. Then, I saw the Target sign. I bought a GPS. My mom later informed me she would pay me back and make that my birthday present, but at least I got to the hotel! Small victories! The pizza was ice cold at that point, but the thin crust with tomato sauce, spinach, Daiya and mushrooms was pretty good.
The next day I went back to the Whole Foods and got the groceries I needed for my class, and a few things for myself. Sadly, that involved more pizza and a vegan carrot cake. There were so few options! I tried to get some raw foods, but their selection was limited to only a few items. How does a Whole Foods have almost no raw foods? I did grab some fresh fruits and veggies finally, but I was horrified that a very small basket that contained enough food for 3 medium sized meals somehow came to $80! The highlight of that trip was my cart was so full. I was teaching a cooking class for 40 people a hands on class of 4 recipes. I had on my raincoat so I looked either chubby or pregnant. Lots of people were pointing at me, whispering in other languages and laughing. I can only imagine it was some version of “That fat girl getting fatter!” It made me laugh, too.
My last day there ran out before my class to get a few items to eat on the 5.5 hour flight back – almonds, cauliflower, and fruit. A few protein bars rounded out my hasty shopping (I had less than 10 minutes), and I was gone.
All the vegan options were over the bridge in New York, and honestly, I was too tired and too hungry to make a few hour journey to try them out. Maybe next time. But I will say that I felt really tired and protein starved when I got back to the valley. This trip taught me an important lesson, which is never assume that just because there is a grocery store that works well in your area, they will be the same elsewhere. Also, pack some protein options like nuts or tofu jerky you can enjoy even when you can’t find anything else.
Have you been to Englewood, NJ? Do you live right by there? If so, what did I miss out on?
I love food shopping. For me, it is relaxing, inspiring and I always find something that I love. When I went to Trader Joes this morning I found the most perfect looking strawberries! I needed these in my life, and then in my tummy. However, I didn’t want the shortcake this time. I just got back from a three day trip to New Jersey. I didn’t find a lot of great food there, so I ate too many processed items. I wanted something tasty, but something fresh and clean.
I brought the berries home, washed them, stemmed them, and cut them in half. Then, I made an even simpler version of the cream I made for the Strawberry Shortcake recipe. At only three ingredients, I kind of hate to call it a recipe, but it came out so well I had to share! This is great for the hot spring days (we are already close to 100 degrees here) when you just want a simple, fresh dessert.
By the way, I have some containers that have a separate divided ‘pocket’. I put the prepared strawberries in the main part of the container, and a little cream in the ‘pocket’ of the container. Now I have a great treat for tomorrow, too. That would be a great way to take these as a mid-day snack or with you for a road trip.
Strawberries and Cream
Makes 8 servings
4 pounds of fresh, ripe strawberries, stems removed and sliced in half
1 can of Trader Joes Coconut Cream (14 oz) OR 1 can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight, only the solid and 1 tablespoon of the liquid used
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1/3 of a vanilla bean
3 tablespoons of agave nectar
Combine the coconut cream, vanilla paste or bean, and agave in a blender and process until smooth. Serve 1 ½ cups of the strawberries with 2-3 tablespoons of the cream. This is heavenly. So simple, but so perfect.
Per Serving (8 in total)
Fat 14 g
Blender or food processor
I am super excited. When you leave your parent’s home, you get a chance to keep those traditions or create your own. My mom and I have a tradition of her buying me a new pet or plant for Easter. Many times, when I was young the pet and plant would rotate. One year, I got a baby rabbit. I named him Baby Jay. At the time we lived in a suburb outside Portland, OR. Baby Jay lived free in the back yard, which was surrounded by a six foot block fence. He ate hay, fresh grass and vegetables. One of our dogs, Scrappy, was half wolf and half Great Pyrenees. Because of this, Scrappy’s nails grew every day. Every day, the dog would lay down with his paws out, and Baby Jay would gnaw them down. Scrappy protected that rabbit. One day we heard a huge commotion. A raccoon had come to try and steal out turtle (named, Turtle) and Scrappy had it treed. Baby Jay came to have a look and Scrappy gently nuzzled him away, then went back to barking at the raccoon. No one was harmed, but it was funny.
With a tribe of cats, and a baby on the way, a pet for Easter did not seem like a good option to me. However, HORNED WORMS (the all caps are deserved) destroyed most of Jason’s pepper garden last year. Only one Serrano remains of his once mighty garden. This is sad.
Off I went to the nursery and I got him a flat of peppers, with a few tomatoes. (Those go in a separate garden). Now he had jalapenos, chiles de arbol, fresno reds, serranos, and habaneros. I also got him some San Marzano tomatoes. Since he went to Italy, he loves them, and we only have access to canned here.
BTW, you might be able to see it was Easter for the cats, too! I picked up three more catnip plants for them. Lemon catnip, standard catnip, and six mountain catnip will all be in the fresh catnip rotation now, too! Holidays for all!
Next year, it will be my child’s first Easter. I plan on getting them a tree and passing on a great vegan tradition – grow your own RVOs.