Thursday, July 06, 2006

izzy's for ice cream

http://www.ips-solar.com/images/tn_izzy.jpg

St. Paul had it all when we called.

Tonight I went to Izzy's for the first time, and had some ridiculously yummy strawberry soy ice cream with strawberry sorbet on top. My wife had a cone as well, and hers was topped off with some mango sorbet. The sorbet was a free "izzy", a tiny scoop of any flavor that can be added for free to the top of a single or double cone. Reader's Digest named Izzy's one of the top 100 ice cream shacks in the country, and rightly so. It was very crowded.

Since becoming vegan I've become kind of a supertaster for egg, so I suspected that the waffle cones we ate were not vegan. True enough; I just got off the phone with Izzy's and learned that their waffle cones contain both egg and butter (and a very non-vegan but classy malted milkball hidden away in the bottom of the cone), but that the sugar and cake cones are vegan.

A trip to an old school ice cream parlor is one of those treats that many of us suspect veganism requires us to give up. Places like Izzy's have been kind enough to dispel that myth, and for that, they lend a little bit of style to West St. Paul.

As if that weren't enough, Izzy's claims to be "the first shop" running on solar energy. It's unclear whether that means ice cream shop or what, but it kind of doesn't matter, does it?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

ants

Well, I can't say I like the methodology behind it, but this ant study that came out the other day confirms what I think a lot of us already knew - ants are amazing. Veganism for me is kind of an extension of whatever it was in me as a kid that made me dislike the idea of smashing ant colonies to bits (although I'm sure I'm guilty of same). Maybe you were the same kind of kid.

Friday, June 30, 2006

stroganoff, meet beer.

The Surly Vegan is broke. Not the website, as it was never intended to be a money-maker, but the person. In a way, though, it's been a good thing, as it's caused the wife and I to take stock of what we had in the refrigerator and the pantry, find some recipes on-line, and after a quick ($40!) trip to the co-op to pick up a few things, we were on our way.

Another factor is that my wife has been seeing an acupuncturist lately, who recommended that she avoid soy. That means no tofu, for the most part, but seitan got the go-ahead. We found a recipe for seitan stroganoff and went to work. Actually, my wife went to work while I put groceries away and did the dishes. I'd like to take credit, I really would, but since I already linked to the wonderful Vegweb.com for the recipe, I might as well not take credit for the production. Although I did cube a roma and a half.

The stroganoff is amazing, and while I didn't make it, I did ask my wife how difficult it was, and she gave it 5 out of 10 on the old hard-to-do scale.

Finally, I'm drinking Breckenridge beer tonight, their Trademark Pale Ale, which is pretty decent and which was one of the only beer companies I discovered yesterday (see post below) that didn't give their spent grain to animal farmers. I salute you, Breckenbridge brewery, and that's not just because I'm four beers into a six pack, I really mean it, I promise.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

For when we're not eating.

The good people at vegparadise.com put together a list of "Vegan Wines and Other Alcoholic Beverages". As I appreciate any effort that allows me to get my party on, I decided to dig a little deeper. I mean, what about Sierra Nevada, Bell's, and 15 year old Laphroaig? If those are vegan, I'm all set. Besides, the above list contains some huge alchohol companies that, in my opinion, vegans ought to be avoiding for reasons of morality that have precious little to do with the animals.

Then I found this. Veganvanguard.com has a much more comprehensive list, including possible concerns regarding your favorite brews, e.g., did you know that Sierra Nevada uses their spent grain as "animal feed"? Neither did I, and now I have some soul-searching to do. The disclaimer was reassuring, though, especially the line "I am not the vegan police and you are not under arrest" and the invitation to belly up to the bar.

http://www.vegans.free-online.co.uk/veganpoliceT-shirt.GIF
Here are som more lists:
http://www.veganporn.com/booze.pl
(the above confirms that Bell's is vegan, by the way)
http://veganconnection.com/veganbeer.htm
http://www.btinternet.com/~p.g.h/vegan_beer_list.htm
(no more Young's, I guess)
And if making it onto the vegsociety message board is all it takes to confirm the veganacity of a particular scotch, then I guess Laphroaig passes the test!

Hopefully I don't need to say this, but have fun, be safe, and if you need help, fucking get it.

Otherwise, drink up!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna

taken from the wonderful Vegan Planet cookbook by the rather unfortunately named Robin Robertson:

"Adding cooked chopped eggplant to the tomato sauce gives this dish substantial texture. Since vegan mozzarella doesn't melt well [calling all vegan food scientists! - TSV], I make it an optional ingredient. Other topping ideas include vegan Parmesan cheese or a sprinkling of Gomasio [I opt for the latter myself - TSV].

12 ounces lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and chopped

3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought

Two sixteen-ounce packages firm tofu, drained and crumbled

One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions and
well drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles and spread out on a work surface to keep them from sticking together.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the tofu and the spinach, blending well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Spread a thin layer of the sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of noodles and top with half of the tofu mixture, spreading it out evenly. Top with another layer of noodles, a layer of sauce, and the remaining tofu mixture. Finish with a layer of noodles and the remaining sauce.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the vegan cheese, if using. Continue to bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8"

I promised one of you that I would post this recipe a long time ago. My apologies for the delay. This is fun to make and fun to eat, and it freezes and reheats well. I for one love having a freezerful of lasagna.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

three days in a row

...and to celebrate this hat trick, I have some good news for you:

The good people at Vegan Essentials have a new offering, namely a new vegan marshmallow that is supposed to blow all other attempts out of the water.

You heard it here first.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

blood juice

POM Wonderful is tasty, but it's a taste I'm avoiding until they stop testing on animals. If you're the letter writing type, PETA would like you to take action. I would, too.