Tag Archives: lettuce

Nora Kuby Photography for VegNews

Anyone who knows me knows that I am my own toughest critic, so when I say that you don’t need to tell me it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I last Pride & Vegudiced, I mean it. In Jane Austen’s own words, “Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.” :)

No, but seriously, my life’s been a bit of a roller coaster since last June. I’ve experienced a few hard knocks in my personal life (but have lived to tell the tale and would like to believe I am stronger for all of it!); I left my wonderful job at DrWeil.com to return to school at ASU to take pre-med classes with the possible goal of becoming a nutritionist, naturopath, or integrative doctor myself (I want to be just like Dr. Weil, but less hairy and more vegan!); I finally left my parents’ house and moved in with my good friend Allison near campus; and, in December, I began working at my favorite restaurant (literally, my favorite restaurant in the entire world, and, as an English minor, I never misuse the word “literally”…), Pomegranate Café. It’s organic, almost entirely vegan, and so gosh darn lovely that it deserves its own post, so you can look forward to that!

Some other things I’ve been up to since we last spoke include getting a haircut I severely regret; dressing up as Hermione and waiting 20 hours in line with my sister and good friends, Laura and Bear (dressed as Dobby, Bellatrix, and Luna, respectively) for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, where I simultaneously experienced unadulterated joy, communal paroxysms of grief, and the end of my childhood; meeting my hero, vegan author and inspirational speaker, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of Compassionate Cooks, when she came to speak at ASU (thanks to my mom’s event planning); playing lots and lots of soccer; finally upgrading to an iPhone 4S from my sad, sad EnV2 (a.k.a. the glorified calculator); shooting my first wedding (for my beautiful friend Lindsay!); completing the giant, full-spread, 700+ clue Thanksgiving crossword almost on my own; spending ten days in Jamaica with my dad’s side of the family; and not caring about the Super Bowl for the 24th time in my life.

Also since we last spoke, both my mom and little sister have joined the vegan wolf pack! (My sister actually revealed to me that she was going vegan by adapting the famous “wolf pack” speech from The Hangover to refer to her joining my vegan wolf pack  – it was hilarious and I will have to post the full transcript at some point…) Having two of the people I love most in this world adopt the same joyful lifestyle that has shaped me into the person I am today is extremely gratifying; it also taught me that leading by example can be more powerful than vegangelizing. I love that they came to veganism on their own once I stepped down from my vegan soapbox. I’m so proud of them!

As cute as my mom and sister are, I know you’re all here for the food porn. I’m happy to inform you that, despite not blogging for eight months, I haven’t quite abandoned food photography. In fact, quite the contrary: I’ve become a recipe photographer for everyone’s favorite vegan publication, VegNews Magazine! I’m currently working on my fifth assignment for the magazine, which will appear in this year’s May-June issue, but I thought I’d share my first four published photos with you all, just in case you’re not all avid VegNews subscribers!

My first (and I must say, favorite) published photo was Robin Robertson’s Thai Lettuce Bites in the July-August 2011 issue. The flavors and colors were poppin’…

Next up, Gena Hamshaw’s Vanilla Almond Milk, featured in the September-October 2011 issue. This vegan’s made plenty of almond milk in her day (I actually own a black and white shirt that says, “Got nut milk?”), but this recipe was quite possibly the best.

For the November-December 2011 Holiday Issue, I whipped up another Robin Robertson creation: Classic Fry Bread (click for the recipe!).

Finally, the most recent (March-April 2012) issue of VegNews features my photo of Allison Rivers Samson’s Fresh Mushroom Ceviche:

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. Thanks for sticking with Pride & Vegudice despite my extended absence – I will try to post at least once a month from this point forward, especially once I get my greedy little hands on the imminent Canon 5D Mark III. If that doesn’t motivate me to photograph everything in sight (including food), I don’t know what will!

Dessert (and Tacos!) in the Desert

Hey guys! Long time, no blog! This post is one of the final installments of my effort to stretch my pre-college food adventures into my already-begun-senior-year life! From this point on, posts will be a bit more sporadic and infrequent. I’m sorry, but I have a one-semester Environmental Analysis senior thesis and English senior seminar among many other stressors and responsibilities. I’ll do my best though. I am baking for the Motley, Scripps College’s coffee house, and heading up the 5 College Vegan/Vegetarian Association (VIVA), so hopefully I’ll have some future posts relating to those activities…

Anyways, I drove up to school last Saturday, and one of my favorite things about the drive is my tradition of stopping at the Native Foods on the way! By the time I reached the Palm Desert location around 6:30, I was famished! What does a starving vegan with a penchant for Southwestern fare order? Um, the Tijuana Tacos, duh?!

Soy taco meat, salsa fresca, Native Cheese, shredded romaine lettuce, and guacamole in grilled corn tortillas! Yes, please! The “Native Cheese” was really good – it tasted like some sort of noochy white-bean paste. I haven’t had tacos in a while, so these hit the spot, not the least because it was pretty warm out and these were fresh and light!

I can’t go to Native without getting the Peanut Butter Parfait. I just can’t. I’ve tried.

Creamy peanut butter blend with crumbled Boogie Bars! (Boogies are Native’s glorified banana bread, complete with almonds, oats, coconut, and chocolate chips!) The menu at Palm Desert actually had a typo and said, “Creamy peanut butter bland,” but I can assure you the parfait is anything but bland!

One day I’ll have to try another dessert there, but for now, I’m good.

Also, I said that going to Native was one of my favorite things about the long, steady drive on the I-10 West from Phoenix to LA. My other favorite thing is the stark, yet beautiful scenery:

Teese-y Nachos and Stuffed Mochi

This is a multicultural post, I guess! And who knows – maybe Mexican and Japanese will be the next ethnic fusion cuisine fad.

Okay, so I didn’t actually eat my nachos and mochi together…

If y’all recall my camping post, I had about one-third of a log of Cheddar Teese to use up. It was great in the chili bake and tofu scramble, but I wanted to make something quintessentially “cheesy” with the remainder. I’m also a true Southwestern gal, meaning that my first thought was…NACHOS! And who am I to doubt my gut?

I laid out some Trader Joe’s blue corn chips on a baking tray, plopped on some vegetarian refried beans, and finally – the most exciting part – whipped out the grater and brought on the Teese! Here it is pre-baked:

I popped it in the oven at 325 F for a bit before broiling it for the last couple minutes. I wasn’t sure how well the Teese would melt at those temperatures, but I was pretty happy with the results! I finished it with a little shredded lettuce, guac, and a boatload of salsa.

Then I dug in!

As you can see, the Teese melted pretty freaking well, and it tasted awesome right outta the oven.

Moving on to the mochi! For anyone not in the loop (I wasn’t until recently), mochi is Japanese rice that’s ground into a thick paste and molded into little cakes. When baked, they puff up into little pastries! I bought my mochi at Whole Foods : the brand is Grainaissance, and I chose the Raisin & Cinnamon flavor.

I was skeptical about their puff potential when, after 8 minutes, they still looked pretty flat; but a couple minutes later, upon beholding their inflation. I was squealing with excitement, as my dad, who was working in his office down the hall, could easily confirm.

They’re not very sweet on their own (the ingredients are just brown rice, cinnamon, raisins, and salt), so I took the package’s advice and stuffed ‘em!

I subbed Tofutti for the regular cream cheese and agave for the honey called for, and, well, pecans are already vegan! These little love packets were amazing! Because I stuffed them fresh from the oven, the “cream cheese” and agave got all oozy on the inside, and the flavors combined perfectly. I definitely think the mochi would have been a little plain without the filling. Speaking of the mochi, my dad and I were surprised at how chewy it was! The outside was crisp, but the bulk of it was just…ridiculously chewy.

That’s all I got, but I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the four mochi that came out just a tad bit deformed. It’s Quasi Mochi, the hunchcake of Notre Japan!

Why am I so weird?