Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vegan Donuts in Las Vegas

If you are going to Las Vegas you must go here:

Ronald's Donuts has the BEST donuts on this planet!!! Most of them are vegan (the best ones)! Sometimes I just sit and think about how good they were... Sometimes I think about driving out to Las Vegas and buying 10 dozen, then spending the whole trip back eating each and every one of them!

Why isn't there a place like this in Michigan!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
(I need a new name for this)
Recommended Serving: 1-3 fatties

2 Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
1LB box of Powdered Sugar
1 Cup of Vegan Margarine
1 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Bag of Vegan Chocolate Chips
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Almond Extract

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the margarine, peanut butter, powered sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls and roll around in your hands to make perfect circles. *Hint: you can purchase a small ice cream scoop for things like this to make the portions consistent.

Use a double boiler or one pan that is slightly larger than the other with water filled and the other pan floating on top, and place over medium heat. Pour the vegan chocolate chips into the empty pan and stir frequently until it is melted though. Remove the pan from the heat but keep it over the hot water so that the chocolate does not harden up when you roll the peanut butter balls into the chocolate. Allow them to cool on wax paper before moving to an airtight container. I like to store these in the refrigerator. These are excellent for holiday parties and no one can believe they are vegan!

Shitty Donuts

Shitty Donuts
*We never actually made or ate these
Recommended Serving: 0

12 Hot Dog Buns (Fun Tip: Save the bag for easy storage, disposal or vomit)
1 Quart of Oil
¼ Cup Sugar
2TBS Cinnamon
1 Can of Vegan Frosting

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Drop hot dog buns in one at a time and cook 1 minute on each side. Using tongs, remove these bad boys from the oil and place onto a paper bag. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them immediately (both sides). Take a glob of frosting with a butter knife and spread on the inside of the bun then squeeze it closed. Lick off any residual frosting so it looks neat. You can also make a glaze with powdered sugar and water to drizzle over them for added personality. Eat these in secret and hide all evidence. Never cook them for someone you love.

I'm So Stuffed Peppers!

I'm So Stuffed Peppers!
Servings: 1-3

6 Large Bell Peppers*
1 Sweet Onion
Fresh Mushrooms (12-16 ounces)
2 Cups of Basmati Rice (Dry)**
4 Cups of Water***
2 Vegetable Bullion Cubes***
¼ Cup Red Wine (Cab. Sav. or Merlot)
3 LBS Fresh Tomatoes (or 2-28oz Cans of Diced Tomatoes)****
Olive Oil
2 TBS Minced Garlic
1 tsp Cumin
Fresh Ground Pepper
Parsley (if dry put with the uncooked rice, mix fresh with rice after cooked)

*If you want your bell peppers to stand up after they are cooked (this looks better for presentation) you should select a large pepper at the market and find yourself a flat surface to stand it up on, if it will not stand on it’s own, it will fall over on your plate.
**You can substitute jasmine rice if you would like, but I do not use white because it does not taste as good and brown is a pain in the ass to cook.
***If you have some disposable income use Vegetable stock or broth instead of water and omit the bullion cubes. I prefer water and the fake chicken bullion myself, but I am on welfare.
****Sometimes I use half fresh and half canned tomatoes. If at least half of your tomatoes are fresh it will taste fresh.

Let’s start off by opening the bottle of wine so it can breathe. Now that that’s done be sure that before you start tasting the wine that you save enough for the recipe. If you are not sure that you can do that, make sure you have more wine first or consider buying your wine by the case. Pour your glass and put on some sexy music because we’re going to make magic here.

Clean your peppers by cutting the top off as you would if you were carving a pumpkin. You could probably carve them like pumpkins if you wanted to, but they might fall apart if you get carried away so I would not recommend it. If you selected large peppers like I suggested earlier, then you will be able to get your fat fingers in them with a paring knife to remove the membrane and seedlings. Rinse with water inside and out and clean with a veggie washing product if you are worried about e-coli. When I cut them I keep the stem attached, like a pumpkin, so I have something to hold onto and so it will look intact when it is put back together. When you clean each pepper, place the corresponding top back on it so that it will match up correctly. Presentation is important with this dish because it can get sloppy if you are not careful. Set the 6 cleaned and reassembled peppers onto a 9X16 baking pan and set them aside.

I like to do my rice in a rice cooker. It is easier and it gives you more time to set everything else up. A rice cooker is not expensive, as I am on welfare and I have one. If you do not want to invest in one, you can also cook your rice on the stove but I will not tell you how to do that. Pour a little olive oil into the bottom of the rice cooker and use a piece of plastic wrap to spread it around the reservoir (to ensure the rice does not stick to bad). Add the water, rice, cubes of bullion, cumin, fresh ground pepper and parsley if you’re using dry. Stir and place the lid on, then switch it to “Cook” mode (or follow the directions with your cooker if there is no “Cook” mode. You may notice that I have included more water in this option than some Basmati rice packages call for; what can I say, I’m a maverick.

Now that your rice is cooking and you’re probably going on that 2nd glass of wine, finish it up and start cutting up your onion and mushrooms. Dice the onions finely, but leave the mushrooms in chunks about the size of a marble. If they are too small they seem to disappear. If you are using fresh parsley cut that up at this time along with your fresh garlic. Divide your onions, mushrooms, garlic and fresh parsley (if applicable) into two segments. Set one aside and get the other one ready for the next step. Dice your tomatoes and have them ready as well.

Heat a large and deep skillet over medium-high heat (if you do not have one a large pot will work). Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of olive oil (about 6 tsp). Add your onions, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until it is sizzling and steaming before adding your red wine. Occasionally stir and sauté until the onions become soft then add your diced tomatoes. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook another 15 minutes. Your tomato sauce will probably cook after your rice is done, this is okay, just turn the rice cooker off and leave the lid on. The rice is hot enough, when it is done cooking, to melt though a safe anyway.

While your tomato sauce is finishing up, add any reserved fresh herbs and the remaining onions, mushrooms and garlic. Mix well.

When the tomato sauce has cooked down a little, turn off the heat. Add the cooked seasoned rice to the seasoned vegetable mixture. Mix well then heat your oven to 350.

Use a tablespoon to scoop the rice mixture into the peppers. Fill them to the top but do not pack them down until each pepper is full. Restore the top to each pepper before moving to the next to ensure they match up and seal correctly. If you have remaining rice, use the spoon to pack the rice of each pepper down and add more. If there is still additional rice set it aside for a snack. Use a ladle to add the tomato sauce over each pepper and between them. Fill the pan leaving about 2 inches from the top and cover the pan with foil (if you have additional tomato sauce set it aside). Place the peppers into the oven and bake for at least an hour. If you had remaining rice, add some remaining tomato sauce for a snack while you wait on the peppers to bake. Any remaining tomato sauce can be placed into a gravy boat and put in the microwave until the peppers are done. Turn the microwave on for a minute or two and you will have additional tomato sauce for the table. Finish up any wine at this time, then open some more to share with your guests. Set the table and take a cigarette break. The peppers are done when you can easily tear them apart with a fork, the tomato sauce begins to thicken, the house smells really good and your friends are salivating. For an added touch place each pepper on a plate and garnish with some additional tomato sauce and some fresh parsley or basil. You can add a cheese substitute after they are done and return them to the oven for a few minutes to melt before removing and garnishing with the fresh herbs (just be sure you’re using a soy cheese that is actually vegan and actually tastes good!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Do I Have a Problem?" (from the book)

It is difficult for me to pinpoint where my compulsive eating started. At age two my dad purchased a case of bananas from a produce bargain store. Apparently he decided to take an afternoon nap since the children passed out in front of the television. Being the little fatty, I woke up early to discover the abundance of sweet fruit calling my name from the kitchen. My dad later found the near-empty box on the floor, along with me rolling around over the empty peels, grunting and holding my bloated belly.

My obsession with food and compulsive eating (we might as well use the word “disorder”) got a little out of hand, where at age 21 I was 285 lbs. I can recall eating a whole large pizza, then going to the kitchen for a wedge of cake and pint of ice cream about an hour later. Nothing angered me more than being full with delicious things in the house to eat. I started a diet every other week and went off the diet later that same day. It was not until the New Year’s Eve after my 21st birthday that I finally had enough of being a fat loser. The self-realization of a compulsive eating disorder made sense after the hours of drinking alone and listening to suicidal music: It all seemed so clear. I had to do everything in extremes! Nothing about my life was in moderation and the only way to get a result that I wanted was to obsess and make it dominate every other aspect of my life. For about a year I starved myself to 800 calories a day and reduced my fat intake to 10 grams or less. For legal reasons I should state that: while I did count my protein and take a multi-vitamin, this was obviously not recommended by any physician. Birthdays, cook outs, holidays, dates, and any other occasions where a bunch of people get together and eat involved myself just drinking water and saying “No Thanks”. I lost 50 lbs the first three months and another 50 in the 9 months to follow. For the first time in my life I was actually thin! I went from a size 40 to a 34 and was able to see bones though my skin; I felt so elegant!

While the weight loss did not last, and I only remember feeling thin one day in my life. I do, however, remember that sense of accomplishment for having achieved something I set myself out to do. So while my weight went up and down in the years to follow, part of which I blame on the year I lived in Las Vegas (city of extremes), I began to search for a healthy lifestyle option. I remember thinking, “If I could only find something rational that would allow me to eat excessive amounts of food and not die of heart disease”. One day I found it, however, I still thought I needed one last meal. I drove to a burger joint with a cow on the sign and ordered a big juicy hamburger and fries. I took one bite, a bite I was barely able to chew and swallow, so I threw the rest of the greasy confection into the trash. I sat alone in my room, tears running down my face, as my brain raced though thoughts of what I had learned earlier that day. I empathized and mourned for the animal that died in a slaughter house. I cried for the injustices caused by factory farms in our fast food nation. I thought about the negative impacts caused by my years of apathy, laziness and selfishness. I woke the next day a Vegan.

No Book

The idea for Fatty Vegan was a collaborative idea in the early stages. My friends Frank and Chelsea who became vegan sometime after meeting me shared my love for eating good, while maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Chelsea is no longer vegan (downgraded to vegetarian status) and a collaborative effort in co-publishing with Frank is not going to work out. It was a fun idea, but I do not think it’s worth focusing my time on. Not to mention the complications of publishing ideas other people had a part in. Needless to say I can have my blog about my vegan endeavors without any worry or stress. The market for vegan compulsive eaters can’t be too big anyway. It’s hard enough to find someone to eat dinner with that isn’t going to say things like: “I would never eat that”, “how do you live without meat”, “I could never be vegan”, “that looks gross”. Even though the vegan diet is a healthier option, eating animal products puts you at a much higher risk for heart disease, and most people lack the self-control and compassion to even consider a vegan lifestyle; getting the message out to compulsive eaters ranks lower on my list than some other priorities. I will follow the winds of change and focus more energy on publishing something significant and important, rather than something I could do for fun on the side.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Garden Picnic

I made plans with three friends of mine to meet up at my house for a picnic in the garden. The four of us work together on a lot of volunteer activities at university and enjoy spending time together. I had only a day to plan, but it was a casual get-together where the three guests would be arriving at different times. This means that a traditional sit-down dinner with table linens and formal courses served in a specific order would not work. I decided to go with a ‘Mexiamerican’ theme since I had a few ripe avocadoes.


2 Large Ripe Avocadoes
½ Fresh Tomato (diced)
1 TBS Tofutti Sour Cream (Vegan)
Fresh Chopped Cilantro
Green Onion (chopped)
¼ Fresh Lime (juiced)
Ground Cumin

Vegan Bean Dip:
Layered into a ramekin in this order:
1 Can of Vegetarian Refried Beans
¼ Cup Tofutti Sour Cream (Vegan) – Mixed with Taco Seasoning
¼ Cup Fresh Hot Salsa
½ Fresh Tomato (diced)
Fresh Chopped Cilantro
Green Onion (chopped)
Soy Cheese (Daiya) – By the way this is the ONLY cheese substitute I will use
Tofutti Sour Cream (Vegan)

I set out a variety of 3 salsas (with a sprig of cilantro indicating the hot salsa) and a large glass bowl with yellow and blue corn tortilla chips for dipping. I discussed the quality of the food with one of my friends objectively and we agreed that the guacamole could use a little more something so I decided I will add more salt next time and also some green chili peppers. The bean dip is pretty good as it is. I am so glad I was able to find a soy cheese that actually tastes awesome! I really hope they keep making this product; it is good cold, in salads, melted onto things and made into a nacho cheese sauce.

I had a great time yesterday snacking and talking about our summer plans, my trip to India and our future plans in the months to come! It’s so nice to be back home, enjoying this wonderful time of year, entertaining and having fun with friends while enjoying the best weather Michigan has to offer. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vegan to Non-Vegan (PG-13)

I just want to say that Morningstar Farms can kiss my ass!

Grocery stores really need to stop stocking their products in the produce sections and in the organic sections next to vegan products. The ‘beef crumbles’ used to be a staple in my vegan cooking for substituting beef in taco meat, stuffed peppers and lasagna. Now I have to change the recipes to no longer include a meat substitute product. This is good for making them less fat and calories, but that kind of goes against the point of ‘Fatty Vegan’. I hope that the Morningstar Company will find that the niche for good vegan products for transitioning and fat vegans is marketable. Most of their products now contain eggs and dairy. They are not even Hindu-Vegetarian.

Morningstar is not the only company on my shit list; Bocca deserves an ass-kicking as well. Either shit of get of the pot! One week the chickin’ products are vegan, the next they contain eggs, the next they contain dairy. I am sick of reading your bastard labels. I will no longer be using their products until they make a decision to create a sustaining vegan product that I can have a chance of incorporating into a publishable recipe. How is anyone supposed to adopt a vegan lifestyle if the products for consumption are changing every time they go to the market?

Skinny Vegan?

This is my first blog. I have been working on my book for a little over a year now. It is taking a LONG time to make progress, but it's getting there. Stay tuned for updates and some samples of what's to come!

I just got back from India a few days ago. I titled this post 'Skinny Vegan' because I lost 25 LBS in India. I normally compulsively eat on a daily and regular basis; however the combination between sickness, guilt and change of my comfortable environment changed my eating habits. I have battled my compulsive eating disorder my whole life, so it's pretty unrealistic to believe that a lifetime of bad habits has been changed by my experiences in India. Believe it or not, I actually experienced my longest period without food: 36 hours of fasting. I wanted to know what it was like for all the people that were starving there, unable to feel nourished, and going to bed on an empty stomach. While it was difficult and definitely gave me something to think and journal about, I knew deep down that I could never really understand. The whole time I had the financial means to get something to eat, and the comfort of knowing I would be able to eat the next day prevented me from knowing what it was really like. At least I can say that I see things differently now. I always thought my eating disorder was my own unhealthy, self-indulgent, obsessive compulsive, individualistic concern; now I just think it is selfish. How do you overeat when someone is looking at you from the other side of the glass, holding their skinny, starving children? I will not feed my addictions or better my situation at the costs of others. I will not be that person. I decided to make a ‘Findy” (fat Indian) section to my book and dedicate a portion of the proceeds to one of the NGO’s I worked with in India.

My second day back from India, I went with my friend and co-author, Frank, to Whole Foods in Ann Arbor, MI. I spent $140 on delicious organic and vegan food (some of which was healthy). I felt the need to detox my body so I bought a lot of Vruit, carrot juice and mung beans. I will start that detox/fast soon; in the meantime I have been cooking some fresh vegetables and introducing a few of my western, fatty vegan recipes.