Archive for September, 2011


Breakfast of champions

by Moratoria

I had a kitchen this weekend, thanks to staying at a friend’s. So there was much baking, as there usually is when I’m around one for more than a hour.

I made pumpkin cheesecake. And regular cheesecake. In one. And it was good.


Well, that’s blurry. I suck, guys.

I used SusanV‘s recipe for Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake, tweaked it a little bit based on what I had lying around, and promptly stuck the cheesecake in the fridge because it needed to cool and it was already 2 am, forcing myself to wait until the next morning to have it.

I ate 1/4 of the cheesecake with a tall glass of rice milk. Breakfast. Of. Champions.


Is it fat free? No. Healthy? Not particularly, although there actually isn’t a crap ton of sugar or anything happening. It IS dessert, though. Not healthy baking, not even kinda-sorta-maybe-I-put-applesauce-in-it healthy baking. But that’s why I left it with my friend, so I wouldn’t eat all of it in a day. By myself.

But was it worth it? Hell yeah.

Also, tomorrow is Vegan Baking Day! I don’t know about you all, but I’m celebrating- I’m going to have a kitchen tomorrow. I’m not sure what I’m making yet, though. I’m feeling cookies. Or brownies. Or everything.

And in other news: LISTERIA IN MY CANTALOUPES WHAT. This is not okay. And if I get listeria from the fruit I ate today, I’m going to be SO pissed.


This is not dining hall food

by Moratoria

THIS IS CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN. It is the food of the gods.


They have this vegetable pizza they can make vegan. It’s delicious. Especially if you haven’t had pizza in a really long time.

I wish they could deliver. Over 100 miles. Please.


Manna Bread + measuring cups

by Moratoria

So, Manna Bread. I’m kind of in love.

I first tried Manna Bread as a free sample at a local veggie fest over the summer, not really having any idea what to expect since I had never heard of it before. I think it may have been the Multigrain loaf. Vaguely sweet, very moist, it definitely had that hey-I’m-probably-really-healthy-for-you aftertaste which I happen to love  like tolerate, but takes a little getting used to if you don’t love eating whole grains. I didn’t actually pick any up at the time, so I forgot about it for a while.

Then I was at the store Saturday night during one of my rare trips- I’m too broke, plus I can only buy what I can fit in a backpack, thanks to my bike – and I saw the Carrot Raisin version. So I bought it. And took it home and defrosted it and promptly ate half the loaf.

I need to get a plate. This is embarrassing.

Yeah, it’s that good.

Cake-y and sweet and carrot-y and raisin-y without being overpowering, you can tell it’s bread but it’s not really bread. It’s bread deciding that it’s just going to be awesome, just because. It’s oil-, salt-, and sweetener-free (hell yeah), organic, full of fiber and sprouted grain goodness, and is some tasty, tasty stuff. I’ll probably eat it for breakfast for the rest of the week, unless I devour it all tomorrow or something.

If you like Food for Life’s Ezekiel breads, you’ll probably like Manna Bread. It IS expensive, though. Not college-kid-with-a-less-than-minimum-wage-job friendly, so I won’t be buying it often, but I’ll be splurging every once in a while, because hell, it’s probably the healthiest splurge ever. It’s minimally processed, not too high in calories for this dieting girl, and keeps me full so I don’t die when I have to eat salads for lunch and dinner. Like I did today, which is why there’s no actual meal blogging happening up in hurr.

In other news, I bought measuring cups! Finally. I don’t know why I’ve never brought mine from home. I even have that fantastic little thing, a tablespoon? You may have heard of it? Now I can’t pretend I don’t know how many peanuts I’m eating. Not that I eat them out of the container or anything  do that more than once a day.

This means there could be real recipes! With measurements and shit! Well, by recipes I mean things I swipe from the dining hall and nuke in the microwave. But that’s still cooking, amiright?

What about you all? What’s some of your healthy splurges? What do you like to throw in the microwave and still be obnoxiously proud of?


My roommate is a carnivore

by Moratoria

I ate brunch this morning.

I didn’t get any pictures because I was eating with my roommate and a couple of her friends, and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “why are you taking pictures of your toast and fruit with your iPhone?” thing. And it wasn’t too exciting of a brunch, either. I eat almost the same thing every Sunday, so eventually it’ll show up, I’m sure.

Full disclaimer: Most of my photos are going to be taken with my iPhone. Because lugging my SLR into the dining hall and commandeering the only place with good light would garner more than a few dirty looks. And for some reason I feel like the dining hall staff would kick me out. And I really don’t think you want to see university food in all its fully 12 MP glory, ’cause it ain’t gonna be pretty. So for food photographed there, it’ll be my iPhone. For most everything else, it’ll be my Nikon. I’ll try to take good photos regardless. And if people actually start reading this shit, I’ll probably suck it up and take it with me anyway. Just for you.

But anyway, because of the lack of photos, I bring you the first Awkward Situations That Happen In College When You’re Vegan post, Serious Business Edition: When your roommate is a omnivore. Mine is. My roommate is beyond an omnivore. She’s a carnivore, as is her entire family. They hunt. They fish. Her dad makes homemade jerky out of buffalo. She revels in her meat. She makes jokes about vegetarians. She does all the things that make me shudder. She’s a judgmental omnivore, the worst kind. She doesn’t just find it amazing that I can eat anything at all, she wonders what’s so wrong with me that I don’t eat meat. Is it awful? Imagine my horror when I realized her jerky made everything in the fridge smell like meat. And imagine the gag reflex that kicked in when I realized my water bottle smelled like nasty meat. Yeah, not good. (For the record, baking soda works wonders.)

I was petrified at first, because I knew she’d be one of those pushy meat-eaters who simply can’t comprehend veganism. Eventually I a) couldn’t hide it anymore and b) realized it was nothing to be ashamed of, so we had The Conversation. It was after she had been talking to about the last time she had been hunting. I couldn’t take it anymore. So I told her. She stared at me as I explained to her that no, I don’t eat any animal products. No, I wasn’t just going to go back to being vegetarian. No, it’s not just dietary, I am against using animals because I am against violence. And you know what? It felt fucking good to say it. Because being vegan is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, not ever.

It was uncomfortable for a while. Now, I just try to be civil. I try not to judge her for eating meat, although I do refuse to accept the hunting, since I’m vehemently opposed to violence in all forms. I try not to preach, because no one likes pushy people, although I will stand up for what I believe in if the situation arises. I struggle with this in most parts of my life, but just because you’re trying to keep the peace doesn’t meant that you need to be a doormat. Does she judge me for not eating meat or, GOD FORBID, any animal products at all? Definitely. Do judge her? Yeah, I’ll admit it, I do. Sometimes it’s awful, especially because we disagree on many, many things ideologically. Animal rights, environmental concerns, health and fitness, religion (don’t get me started on the I’m-Wiccan-She’s-Christian thing), feminism… the list goes on and on. I am very different from her, yet we’re living together for a second year because we’ve managed to work things out. She’s a nice person, despite all the meat-eating and animal-killing (did I really just say that?). Does it mean we have to be at each other’s throats over it all the time? No. We’re just different. And yes, eating meals with her is still a fiercely awkward experience.

You’ll always encounter omnivores, and yes, devoted carnivores, as a vegan. Some can be downright confrontational. But if you happen to be living with one, like myself, the best way to get through it is being open. Talk about it. Don’t be pushy, but do be firm. They’ll be receptive. Even my roommate is interested in how I eat and live, even if she doesn’t follow it at all. And if they aren’t, if they’re truly giving you shit about it 24/7, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. You don’t have to live with someone you’re entirely incompatible with, especially if they’re being abusive.

And hey, more carrots for you, right?

And I just looked at the dining hall menu tonight. There’s absolutely nothing to eat. Not even a baked potato. I foresee a salad in my future.


The facts

by Moratoria

I’m Michelle. I’m a vegan. And I am in college.

Losing my kitchen was extremely traumatic. Suddenly, instead of being able to make myself something healthy, I was confronted with an endless buffet of french fries. How was I going to possibly survive without my food processor? My freezer? That miraculous, miraculous invention called a stove? And don’t even get me started on the oven. I’m a stress baker. If this girl cannot bake, someone’s going to die.

So I ate salads for my first year. I resigned myself to an endless diet of white rice and veggies, the only guaranteed vegan options in the dining hall. I decided that apparently I didn’t need protein anymore, because as much as I love tofu, the freezing cold stuff from the salad bar wasn’t going to cut it. Unless they happened to have hummus. Then I ate hummus like it’s going out of style. I was Hummus and Carrots Girl, ravenously devouring dry carrot sticks and that sweet golden nectar of the gods, which I knew they had just bought in mass quantities somewhere but I didn’t care because it was so good and OH MY GOD IS THAT PROTEIN?

And then it dawned on me – I could be creative. I didn’t have to eat peanut butter and jelly every single day (though I can, and I most definitely would), or choke down cauliflower so bland I didn’t think it was possible (I’m looking at you, steamed veggies). Even if I don’t have a blender, I could toast things, combine things, put things in microwaves, and sometimes be extremely excited when the dining hall. Cooked. A. Vegan. Dish. That actually didn’t taste like total crap!

Hummus and Carrots is a record of the rest of my time as a college vegan, trying to make the best of the situation while still retaining some semblance of healthy diet. I love healthy food. Who am I kidding? I’m a health nut, I love the way exercise and whole foods make me feel, even if it isn’t always easy. This is my attempt at not gaining 43934832 lbs without having having to eat broccoli 24/7, a chronicle of my fitness journey as I attempt to lose the last of my extra weight, and a running commentary on being an alternative girl at large state university. But mostly, it will be about food. If I make something I’m proud of, it’ll probably show up here. If I make something I’m not proud of it, it’ll probably end up here, too. And if I eat hummus and carrots? Yep, you’re gonna hear about it. Why? Because just because you’re in college, eating out of a dorm dining hall, doesn’t mean you have to live off of french fries and the same salad every day. It’s not always easy, fun, or even as healthy as I’d like, but it’s an adventure in cooking/combining crap together. And who doesn’t love tasty food adventures?

Hopefully you’ll join me on this journey. If anything, just to commiserate with me as I navigate a meat-centric world where I can’t even cook for myself.

Or look at pictures of carrots. That’s cool, too.