Category Archives: RECIPE

Vegan MoFo: Day Nineteen


Vegan Month of Food: Day Nineteen

Morning MoFoes! The lovely Kara Hadley from her blog Food Pulse [GO READ IT!] asked for the pancake recipe we used last night. I’d just like to say that the carbonated water really IS necessary as it leads to light and fluffy pancakes. The syrup recipe still needs a bit of tweaking, so just use pure maple syrup. You know…the good stuff.

Vegan Pancakes: from The Post Punk Kitchen


1 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy or rice milk
1/3 cup carbonated water (We used club soda)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil


Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the soy milk, carbonated water, sugar, and oil. Combine the two and mix until combined.
Grease your griddle or pan with margarine or a little oil. Pour some batter on and flip when it is bubbling.
Serve pancakes with syrup and fresh berries.
*Note: if you want thicker pancakes, use less liquid; thinner, use more.


Tonight’s the night! Black Bean Sliders! Jalapeño Buns! Sweet Potato Fries! Fancy Dipping Sauces! Homemade Grape Soda*!

*No homemade vaniall coke for us. That recipe requires coffee and that’s just not up our alley

I’m really excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything burger-related and I believe this to be  the perfect solution! So come back for details and documentation of Literate Zombie’s mad skills in the kitchen. Word.


Good news or bad news? I personally always pick the bad first ’cause the odds of being cheered up by the other news is greater. So here goes: no grape soda 😦 Literate Zombie forgot to pick up the grape juice. We were planning on mixing it with the leftover carbonated water from last night’s pancakes but alas; no juice, no soda.

Moving on to the good news! The sliders were pitch perfect, buns delectable, toppings phenomenal, dipping sauces satisfying and sweet potato fries golden, delicious and plentiful. Sadly, no picture came out clear enough to show here 😦 I think there’s such a thing as bad food porn and it should be avoided at all costs.

But, pictures of the Chipotle ketchup, vegan aioli, fixin’s, jalapeño buns and the savory burgers themselves did!

Vegan Aioli! Sooo good on the sweet potato fries!

Organic spinach, Roma tomatoes and homemade Chipotle ketchup and aioli

We felt like part of the "Finer Things" club tonight

Yes, Please!

Tonight was very rare in that Literate Zombie worked a day shift and had this evening off. So he came home and we went to jam with the group we’re forming. There’s something about playing music with other people that brings out the wonderful in life.

I write this with a smile on my face, my belly full of vegan deliciousness and I think of how great today was.

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!






Vegan MoFo: Day Ten


Vegan Month of Food: Day Ten

Today marks a milestone for the Literate Zombie and myself, Fruit Killer. We were married three years ago. Ironically, the traditional gift for the big 3 is leather. But thanks to modern devices, the now suggested gift is crystal, glass or pearls.

I prefer delicious food. And tonight we’ll be making Green Bean Casserole! The Literate Zombie will also be in the kitchen stirring up some homemade marinara, which we will be documenting. So until later, I must leave you all to enjoy our anniversary.


Hello again, MoFoes! After spending an hour in the kitchen, chopping and dicing our way through vegetables and stirring and seasoning up a storm we were rewarded with a beautiful veganized version of a green bean casserole.

Crispy and Creamy: Just like it should be

I made the casserole while the Literate Zombie got to work on the homemade marinara sauce we’re using in two dinners this week. The recipe I used is from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. It is everything I hoped it would be. With this now in my arsenal, I feel prepared to face any potluck invitation thrown at us.

Using fresh green beans and cooking them from scratch made this extra special. After boiling, I poured the beans into a colander. A fragrance hit me that was so strong it brought back memories from my summers in Georgia with my Papa, ‘roughin’ it’ as he liked to call it. We used to go out to farms and pick our vegetables fresh in that steamy hot kind of sun only Valdosta could put out.

Making this tonight brought back lots of snippets from my childhood. Very rare and sweet snippets that has given me a sense of home here in California. For the first time in a long time, I feel like we have a home and not just a stepping stone to the next city.

This is what home tastes like

A few notes about the recipe:

  1. I finely minced the mushrooms instead of just chopping into pieces. In the picture of casserole on the original blog post you can distinctly see a piece of mushroom. I wanted the sauce to be smoother than what was pictured so I cut smaller tinier pieces than called for. It’s a matter of taste really. If you want chunkier, follow the original recipe.
  2. The recipe called for soy creamer…and I see why. I thought I could get away with using regular unsweetened and unflavored mylk but I will be using the creamer in future casserole endeavors. The sauce was thick but not as thick as I would have liked it.
  3. I omitted the cooking sherry. And not because I didn’t have any, because I did. I just tasted it right after the sauce had been bubbling and sending “Taste Me” waves undulating up from the cast iron skillet and it was…perfect. So I opted out and I don’t regret the decision.
  4. I ended up using a 6 oz. can of the French Fried Onions in addition to the bread. Using only 3 oz and the crumbled bread mix wasn’t going to cut it. So you may or you may not want to get more just in case.
  5. The Literate Zombie thought it could have been “sloshier” i.e. leftover sauce.

Truly the best thing I've made in awhile...

Because we were both running around the kitchen making different dishes, I didn’t catch a shot of the marinara. But it will be in the spaghetti and the pizza “casserole-deep-dish” thing we’re still planning on doing this week.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Go read other MoFo blogs! Leave comments! Spread some joy!


Happy MoFo’ing!

Vegan MoFo: Day Two, Part Two

Vegan Month of Food: Day Two, Part Two

Welcome to Part Deux of our Vegan MoFo contribution today. My husband, The Literate Zombie, has written all about our journey into budgeted grocery shopping so far. We’re ahead…for now. We also have an absolutely delectable potato salad recipe that Chaz came up with today. It really is PHENOMENAL! There are some words of wisdom and a new tip I’ll share as well, but first:


Seitan, Kale, Tomatoes & Nutch!

This is a must-eat again!

Chaz and I weren’t really convinced that my revisit to making seitan from scratch was a success. But, tonight proved it wasn’t a fluke. In fact, I would venture to say it was BETTER than last time. The consistency was firmer, giving the seitan a good chew but not so much that it was rubbery. The batch I made was portioned into thirds: one for tonight and the other two for meals later in the week.

Chaz threw the setian, cut up into bite-sized chunks, into the cast iron skillet with salt, fresh cracked pepper, cumin and chili powder [all to taste]. This was all cooked using no oil but the broth the seitan had simmered in earlier. It turned out beautifully!

We each had two tacos with no salt chips and salsa. I am STUFFED full of some seitan goodness and I declared this meal as a must-eat-again in the future.


I would also like to share something that Chaz and I were talking about over dinner. He mentions below in the piece he wrote about our grocery store trips that he bought tortilla shells that have hydrogenated oil in them. Although this is vegan, it means the oil has been chemically altered and basically turned into trans fat. This happened because he was only scanning the ingredient list, not fully reading it. So as easy as it is to get into the habit of scanning ingredient lists for keywords like cheese, dairy, eggs, milk, etc. taking the time to fully read the ingredient list pays off in the long run.

As promised a new Budget Tip:

Tip #2: Portion Control! Anyone who has ever read a weight loss article or book has probably read about this. Not only does cutting your portion size possibly lower your weight but it can also keep your wallet fat. It’s easy for us to lay waste to an entire bag of chips between the two of us in one sitting. But since we can’t afford to do that, we take what we want, put it on our plate and put the bag away. Out of sight really is out of mind. Less food=money saved.

You Say Potato, I Say Pahtahto Salad

Makes 2 Large Servings

I literally made the "Mmmmm" sound while eating this!


2 medium red potatoes

1 leaf Kale, cut as small as you can with a knife

1 Tbsp yellow onion, minced

2 Tbsp Vegenaise

2 tsp Nutritional Yeast

1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste


Wash and cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Boil until soft, drain and rinse in cold water until cool. BE GENTLE! You don’t want them to break apart. If you’re nervous about being too rough, just let them hang out in the colander and cool off by themselves. It will take longer, but having those potato pieces intact really makes a difference.

After potatoes have completely cooled, transfer from the colander to a large bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and MIX WELL. Season to taste using the salt and fresh cracked pepper. This potato salad to me does what it’s supposed to: TASTE LIKE MOTHER-FORKIN’ POTATOES!

Happy MoFo’ing!

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Prelude and Introduction :

Picking senseless fights, talking about nothing and many obstacles that I’d lain has amounted to the plan.  The process of setting up a budget took a little over an hour, though we weren’t timing ourselves or rushing through it. We started with planning the dishes we thought were price-reduced enough to fit in the budget. But we were already over budget and hadn’t included any other meals beside dinner. We started to take away little parts of each dish ( you don’t need asparagus AND mushroom in one meal).

Now comes the sad part: we asked each other how are we going to buy organic and local produce? We had to decide what foods were important to eat organic. We decided to get our greens and most fresh fruits and vegetables from the local co-op, Ocean Beach People’s Co-op, we just call People’s.

$hopping: Our $45 budget goal for the two of us per week. Away we go !!!

Food 4 Less$13.86 & a -$6.83 re-up on chips and bananas

This was our cheapest option without reverting to diving. Here we got our packaged beans, noodles and what produce we were willing to buy and was on sale. We found the sales by checking the weekly ads available online. I’m sure if you type the name of your area grocery stores, you can view their sale papers online too with no waste. We have done this in Colorado and North Carolina.

I had planned on getting a few things there but while in-person, I couldn’t. These items included bbq sauce; we planned on getting a bottle for a dollar or two, but even the expensive stuff was laden with chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. I couldn’t do it. So standing about a foot away from the eye-level shelf, bouncing to Outkast, there were six different brands and flavors of sauce lined up with me  just shaking my head: back and forth, back and forth thinking “Are you forkin serious?!?”

In the restaurant, how can you cut food cost and gain flavor? Increase labor! Sounds scary  but I will make a BBQ sauce using the recognizable ingredients off the label with a little patience. We’ll find out when we make it if we succeed or take a gamble and have to call an audible.  Oh and the cilantro was not approachable here.

Ralph’s -$11.20

We choose Ralph’s over Vons (our two supermarket options) just because of the side of the street we were on. This is a typical grocery store. They have an organic section that was more expensive than People’s, but it’s good to see it’s available.

For a source of healthy fat and for snacking, we choose nuts. With 6 grams of monounsaturated and 4 grams of polunsaturated fat per serving, peanuts were our choice. We spent 5 dollars on 2 lbs of dry roasted unsalted peanuts. I feel like I can find a better solution.

The cilantro was much better looking here so we picked up a bunch along with fresh garlic.

The main money saver was the Eziekiel sprouted bread at 3.29 a loaf. We only need to buy one loaf of this bread per week and it lasts because it’s so filling.

OB Peoples Co-Op -$11.05 & -$1.99 for second bunch of greens

This is the spot for us. Prior to the $45/week budget challenge we set for ourselves, there was very little we didn’t purchase from here. The store is on the closest cross street making for a good morning walk that always ended in wiping peach, plum, or pluot juice from my chin. The Co-op’s organic local produce department breathes inspiration. Backed with a solid bulk foods section often stuffed with fair trade and organic grains, trail mixes and other dry goods, you can just buy as much as you need for the next day or two.

Agreeing with the fact that these issues are important to us, we need to loosen up a bit for monetary reasons, but I refuse to completely kill myself with pesticides, chemicals, additives and more. And doing the best we can, we get what we can afford from People’s- definitely fruit and greens and as time and our learning progresses, I’m sure we can successfully limit our budget and still support local organic farmers.

Money left from what we’ve spent already on dry beans, bread, pasta, etc. will be spent at People’s.

Moving Forward $8.89

The Co-op will be visited throughout the week for fresh fruit and greens. We like to leave the fruit decisions of the day up to the day. And there’s no sense having two bunches of greens at the beginning of the week so one can wilt in the fridge while you eat the other. I’m feeling really good about our planning. We are already looking into balance.  We saved $1.50 on our tortilla shells and after further investigation (scanned right by it in the store) we have found there is partially-hydrogenated oil in the shells. So we already know they are worth the $1.50 because this is the only hydrogenated-oil we will consume this week.

From that I looked at everything that is pre-packaged and pending further research, we can do more DIY.  I made the BBQ sauce since starting this post and it is amazing! This was a huge triumph and confidence booster. I am ready to make it happen and will continue to share my progress and ideas so we can all get better together.

Finishing the week .07¢ under

This gave us the confidence to prepare for week two.  Learning where to cut some cost we look forward to next week.

Hail Seitan!

My previous attempts at making homemade seitan were not completely unsuccessful, but they weren’t triumphant either. I baked a couple of seitan logs in tinfoil when we were living in Colorado. After tasting that, we felt we could pass on the faux meat.

Not anymore! I thought I would give making seitan another go, in another way. On the Post Punk Kitchen forum boards, I found this recommendation for simmering the seitan in a broth as opposed to baking it. Click HERE for the recipe/instructions I used. I didn’t, however, use ketchup and the seitan turned out AMAZING!

When Chaz was using slices and sautéing it a cast iron skillet, it looked exactly like meat. He was a little turned off until I reminded him he wasn’t really cooking dead animal flesh. We used the sautéd seitan to make ssandwiches with Nayonnaise, kale, tomatoes, Creole seasoning and fresh cracked pepper. It had a brisket taste to it- juicy, tender and melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

One of our roommates tried it and bought some from us! That’s an awesome compliment to get 🙂

Last night we used the leftovers to make a seitan stew with Hannah sweet potatoes and onions. Add a big salad and dinner was perfect-o!

It looks eerily like meat

Delectable Stew!

Sometimes your hands are the best utensils



Chaz really has a gift when it comes to trying new things without fear. It never seems to phase him that things could turn out tasting terrible or the whole dish could be a waste of not only time, but ingredients. Luckily, he hasn’t made it a habit to fail in the kitchen.

For dinner last night, we had an interesting dish made up of two components. Their tastes and textures were completely different but complimented one another well when mixed together. Once again when asked what he wanted to call this meal, he came up with interesting titles:

White Ninja Pasta + The Triumph of the Crimson Beet =

Breast Cancer Awareness


Plated Separately

All Mixed Up

It may not look appetizing to some, but the taste was really very good. Later that night, we had the leftovers between sprouted rye bread spread with vegenaise and a bit of sriracha [Thai hot sauce] lightly drizzled on top. I think I preferred to eat it that way, the whole dish being a cold pasta-type sandwich as opposed to a warm meal.

White Ninja Pasta + The Triumph of the Crimson Beet =Breast Cancer Awareness*


Ingredients for the Pasta:

  • 1/2 of a 14 oz package Rice Pasta [the ingredients in ours were Rice, Flour, Salt & Water- known as Jantaboon Rice Sticks]
  • 6 Cups Boiling Water
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Braggs or any other Liquid Aminos
  • Dash of Creole Seasoning or Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper [to taste]
  • 3 Tbsp Vegenaise

Ingredients for the Beet Dish:

  • 4 Medium Beets with at least 1/4 of the greens still attached
  • 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 Whole Red Onion
  • 1 Medium Shallot Clove
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tsp Creole Seasoning or 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • Water


  • Put water on to boil in saucepan
  • While waiting for water to boil:
  1. Julienne [cut vegetable into matchstick size pieces as uniformly as possible so they’ll all cook at the same rate] bell pepper
  2. Slice onion in half and with cut edge down on the cutting board, slice into even pieces
  3. Slice beets into even rounds
  4. Slice beet greens evenly
  5. Mince shallot: SHALLOT TUTORIAL
  • Once water is boiling, add the rice noodles and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • While noodles are cooking, add olive oil to a wok or big skillet and heat to medium-high
  • Add shallots and onion, sautéing until transluscent
  • After noodles have been cooking for 5 minutes, turn off heat but continue to let the noodles to sit on the stove in their water
  • Add in the beets and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • With a big cup of water beside you, add about a cup to the wok or skillet and let it all cook down until most of the water has been absorbed by the veggies
  • Add in the bell peppers and greens, then stir thoroughly to combine and distribute throughout
  • Add the Balsamic vinegar and let everything suck up the liquid
  • Add the fresh cracked pepper and creole seasoning or crushed red pepper, stirring well to incorporate

From here on out, you’re basically cooking the dish until the desired crispness/tenderness is reached. If the beets have cooked enough for your liking,  you’re done. If you’d like it to be more tender, add in 1/2 cup of water at a time and once again, let the dish absorb the water, cooking until your desired tenderness.

Now that the noodles have been sitting in their water, drain them in a colander. At this stage, you’ll want to rinse them to get rid of the starch. Using your hands, lightly toss and run your finger through the noodles under COLD running water. You’ll know when you’ve done it enough when the noodles aren’t clumping together and the water runs clear. Your noodles should be cold.

Put the freshly washed noodles back into the pot they were cooked in and add:

  • Vegenaise
  • Sesame Oil
  • Braggs
  • Creole Seasoning or Crushed Red Pepper

Stir well to incorporate the ingredients with the noodles. Add in the Nutritional Yeast and stir. Top with fresh cracked pepper to taste.

By all means, you can eat these dishes separately if you want to. This is just the way we ate it and we did enjoy mixing the two. And like I said, I prefer it cold and between two slices of sprouted rye bread slathered with Vegenaise and a bit of that Thai hot sauce. But to each their own! Enjoy!


*Chaz named the dish because of the pink hues it created after combing the two separate recipes. After further research, it turns out that beets really do help to reduce the risk of breast cancer! Click HERE for an article on the health benefits of our recipe star, the Crimson Beet!

Chaz’s Coconut Chai

After I posted pictures of the coconut milk chai on the Post Punk Kitchen forum [which I love by the way] I received several responses asking for details. So I managed to get the nitty gritty details out of him and pasted together this “recipe”. He’s very very much a season-to-taste cook, so we’ll just call these guidelines with a few suggestions thrown in.

Chaz’s Coconut Chai
Coconut Milk [we used Thai Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk that comes in a can]
Valencia Orange Peel
Any variety of tea you have on hand would work, just keep in mind the flavor of the tea you use [we used Kukicha]
Agave Syrup

1. Whatever mug you’re using, fill it up 3/4 full with water
2. Put water in a pot and let it come to a boil
3. 2-1 ratio of water to coconut milk goes into boiling water, a little bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate
4. Add about a teaspoon each of cinnamon and orange peel and stir well
5. Let it come back to a boil and then remove from the stove
6. To keep the tiny bits of orange peel from settling at the bottom of your cup and you swallowing them, strain the coconut milk mix through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and into your drinking vessel holding your tea bag of choice
7. Let the tea steep in the mix like normal, sweeten to taste and enjoy!

-Fair warning: coconut milk is oily. It’s delicious for sure, but when you see your chai is shiny on top, that’s the fat. It’s totally delicious and creamy, but you can find a lite version of coconut milk for a lower fat content if you prefer
-Other spices we didn’t have on hand but are getting for the next time we make this: vanilla bean, clove, star anise, allspice
-Have fun with trying spices in your chai; it really is just one of those things that is suited to your personal taste

Chaz would appreciate honest feedback. You can tell him by leaving us a comment or emailing him here: Thanks!

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