Veganthropology

Veganism for the earth, for the animals, and for the people.

Blossom, V-note and Quintessence Half Off Groupons August 7, 2013

I know I haven’t written in a while and I’m very sorry. I’ve been reporting for NBC News and writing a weekly what-to-do-in-NY column for a new website called BoomPopMedia, you can keep up with all of that by following me on Twitter @el_fields. On top of that, I’m taking a class this summer, which is blog and essay-based, so even though I’ve been coming up with some fun recipes, I haven’t had time (or the brainpower, for that matter) to get them onto the site. I sincerely apologize and hope to post some soon. In order to make it up to you guys, I have three Groupon deals to share with you for some of our favorite restaurants:

Cafe Blossom in the West Village (pay $15, get $30).

V-note on the Upper East Side (pay $15, get $30)

Quintessence in the East Village (pay $22 for $40 or $44 for $80)

I hope this semi-makes up for my lack of posting lately and I hope you’re all having great summers!

~Elisha

 

 

 

 

Your Guide to Yoga Outside 2013 May 28, 2013

Filed under: For the soul — veganthropology @ 11:04 am
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It’s a yearly tradition of mine to post the schedule of free outdoor yoga classes around the city. I refer back to the schedule during the season over and over, since it seems to be the only aggregated calendar of its kind. I hope it helps you too. These will all be in full swing during the first week of June! I’m still waiting for updates from Central Park and Bryant Park (I would be very upset if Bryant Park yoga wasn’t held this year since it’s my favorite).  Check back for updates and comment if you hear something first or know of outdoor yoga sessions that I didn’t include.

yoga for blog

Here’s the schedule for this year:

Athleta Mind Over Matter Summer Solstice Yoga in Times Square (Broadway between 42nd and 47th) : June 21, 7:25 a.m to 9 p.m.- Register for your choice of classes here

Bend and Boom in Prospect Park  (Grand Army Plaza Entrance): Every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. until September

Healthy Living in Socrates Park (32-01 Vernon Blvd. on Broadway): Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. until September 29

YOGAMAYA at 14th Street Park (at 10th Ave.): Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. until September 24

Evening Salute to the sun at Hudson River Park (the plaza at 66th St.): Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. until September 25

Shape up NYC Yoga at City College Quad (160 Covenant Ave.): Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m until August 31

Downward Dog Days of Summer at Gansevoort Plaza (Gansevoort St. and 9th Ave. ): June 19th, July 18th, August 15th, and September 19th - five classes hosted throughout the days (at 7:15am, 9:00am, 4:15pm, 5:30pm and 6:45pm)

Yoga in Bryant Park: Tuesdays 10 a.m to 11 a.m. and Thursdays 6 p.m. to 7 p.m until September 19

On a semi-related note, because i’s free, relaxing and outdoors, don’t miss Manhattanhenge July 12 and 13. You won’t be sorry that you delayed your commute home to your respective borough in order to catch this beautiful phenomenon.

 

PBB&J Cupcakes May 11, 2013

Filed under: For the animals,For the soul,Recipes — veganthropology @ 12:39 pm
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photo 2Nope, the extra “B” in the title is not a typo. Sure, you can easily figure out what a PB&J cupcake might consist of but any guesses on the extra “B”? I would usually be happy to fulfill a request for muffins instead of cupcakes for my boyfriend’s birthday. The only problem was, we were having a party for almost 40 people and I didn’t think I could get them as excited about muffins at 9pm as my boyfriend would have been. “There has to be cake,” I told him, “I promised them cake!” Compromise is so important in relationships and clearly, this one was an important one to figure out, so we agreed on cupcakes with a jam filling, in order to have the best of both worlds. Since it was the boy’s birthday, I decided to take it a step further and make the cupcake itself with bananas, producing a banana-bread-meets-vanilla-cake base and then a peanut butter frosting to finish the whole thing off because once I was thinking jam and bananas, it seemed wrong to leave out the peanut butter.

I’ve made all sorts of different types of cupcakes and I know it’s all the rage to fill them but I’ve never tried it before. I started looking up methods to fill the cupcakes with jam and the most popular was to cut a cone shaped hole in the top of the cupcakes, scoop a bit out, pipe it full of jam, then cover that area with the frosting, which I didn’t want to do because I hate wasting food and would have ended up eating 18 cupcake insides. Another, less popular option was to bake the jam inside of the cupcake, which seemed to me like it would simply produce jam-bottomed cupcakes since the jam would be heavier than the batter. Then, I came across another method that not many people recommended, but I couldn’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t work: bake the cupcakes and then use a very pointy and small piping tip to puncture the top and fill the cake with jam. This worked brilliantly which made sense since cupcakes are so fluffy that there’s plenty of extra room for some fruity filling. My tips, if you do decide to do it this way are:

1. As I said, use a very pointy piping tip.

2. Since the hole on the piping tip will be very narrow, buy jam that does not have seeds or chunks of fruit. If you have one with chunks of fruit, blend it until smooth and either way, heat it up until runny.

3. Make your cupcakes big. Fill the liners to the top so that you have a lot of room to play with inside for filling. This recipe should yield 18 cupcakes that are sized just right to support the jam.

To make the cakes:

5 ripe bananas (a little more than 2 cups)

1 cup of almond milk mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 stick of (8 tablespoons) Earth Balance Butter

1 tablespoon of vanilla

2 cups of flour

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

a 12 oz jar of jam

To make the frosting:

1 stick (8 tablespoons) of Earth Balance Butter

1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5-6 cups of powdered sugar

1/4 cup of almond milk

photo 3-21. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the lemon juice to the almond milk and blend or food process the ripe bananas until creamy. Add the almond milk mixture and continue to blend. Melt and add the butter and vanilla. Blend until combined.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix in the sugar and then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until all the lumps are gone.

3. Spoon the batter into a lined cupcake pan and tap on the counter to remove bubbles (this is especially important since a bubble at the bottom of a cupcake could result in a jam underflow). Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

4. Once the cupcakes are cooled, fill piping bag that has a fine tip with the jam (keep your finger on the tip until it has contact with the cupcake, the jam will want out). Puncture the tops of each cupcake, put the tip in as far as it will go and squeeze in the jam slowly, until you see it begin to overflow on top (the cupcake will swell a bit, that’s fine).

5. Make your frosting while your cupcakes cool down entirely and set. Melt your butter and with an electric hand mixer, cream it together with your peanut butter. Add in half the powdered sugar, then the milk. Add remaining powdered sugar a little bit at a time until the frosting is stiff enough to pipe.

6. Cover up the hole by piping on the frosting.

 

Vegan Bake-Off (back by popular demand) May 4, 2013

Filed under: Deals,For the animals — veganthropology @ 9:55 am
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I get several emails a day outlining free finds in the city so that I can add them to the Broke Student’s Calendar on a website I manage. One of my favorites is from The Skint. They have the most comprehensive daily list of free and inexpensive activities and goodies to take advantage of in this city. Once in a while, they put on their own events and I had to let my readers know about this one because I suspect many of you are master cooks (and master eaters). Whether you want to enter the competition or just go to sample the food and in essence, be a judge, you will not go wrong at this vegan appetizer cook off. While I’m sure it’s going to be tough to pick your favorite treat, I think the biggest treat is that you’ll be in the same room with goddess, Terry Hope Romero, who’s also judging.

While it might be intimidating to those competing to have the best vegan cook and recipe-concoctor in the world (in my humble vegan-blogger opinion) judging their creations, the winner will walk away 250 dollars richer and with the knowledge that the Gordon Ramsay of the vegan world has validated their cooking, and probably with a lot less yelling. If you want to enter, do so by May 17 (the rest of the rules here). If you’d rather judge than be judged, tickets for the June 2nd event are only 12 dollars in advance and as you can imagine, sell out quickly. For all the details, check out the page.

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Oatmeal Raisin Muffins with Agave Streusel April 30, 2013

Filed under: For the animals,Recipes — veganthropology @ 4:35 pm
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Recently, I realized that a good part of my diet consists of oats. I start the day and end the day with a bowl of oatmeal, don’t leave the house without a bag of granola and eat granola bars for snacks and sometimes, these cookies for lunch. While I’ve been making an effort to add more variety to my diet, I also have no problem with oats being a go-to snack (and sometimes meal… granola is perfectly portable). Oats are filling, naturally gluten free, fiber-ful, protein-ful, and versatile. So, instead of feeling bad about the fact that my body is probably half oat, half caffeine, I decided I would just vary the way in which I eat my oats and what I eat them with. Expect a few oat recipes this summer, starting with this one.

This recipes makes 12 muffins, but you can double or triple it and leave the batter in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll last for a month, in case you need them for unexpected guests or last minute brunch without the streusel or  a quick dessert, if you have the time to make new streusel (which takes about five minutes).

Muffins:

1 cup oats

1 1/4 cup almond milk mixed with 1/8 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup raisins

Streusel topping:

3 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter

1/3 cup agave

1/2 cups of oats

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

dash of salt

1/2 cup of flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the almond milk with the lemon juice.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

3. Add the flax seed to the almond milk mixture.

4. Add the oil, vanilla and brown sugar to the butter milk mixture. Stir well. Stir in the oats.

5. Combine the wet ingredients to dry ingredients.

6. Fold in raisins.

7. Spoon into muffin tin (for a dozen). Make sure to tap the muffin tin on the counter a couple of times, as these muffins have some nooks and crannies that could make for air bubbles.

8. Melt the butter and mix with the vanilla and agave. Add the cinnamon and salt to the 1/2 cup of oats and coat that with the wet mixture. Then add the flour until the mixture is dry and crumbly (you may need more flour). If you want this a little sweeter, you can add some brown sugar or more agave followed by more flour.

9. Spoon generous helpings of your mixture onto each muffin. Bake on middle rack of oven for 15 minutes.

photo 3-2

 

Pasta with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce and Roasted Tomatoes March 16, 2013

Filed under: For the soul,Nutrition,Recipes — veganthropology @ 2:12 pm
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I need to start by apologizing for not writing lately but I do have a somewhat good excuse. I have been working nonstop on a magazine called Dollars & Sense to redesign our website and launch Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. In this shameless plug, I invite you to like/follow all or any of our pages and read our site. We write about all sorts of subjects but some articles that might interest you are, Vegetarian Food Festival a Treat…, Never Giving Up and Happy Turkey-Free Day by yours truly. Plus, I make sure to add every vegan event I hear about to our Broke Student’s Calendar.

As editor, I’m naturally doing a lot of rewriting, which doesn’t leave much time to do much writing of my own, let alone for cooking or scoping out great restaurants. However, this week, I peeled myself away from the computer screen a little early and told the boyfriend that we’d be eating a little late. Luckily, we had some wine to hold us over until I was done cooking and this recipe was very simple. If you’re “leaning in” and strapped for time like me, this recipe becomes even simpler if your roast the vegetables the night before. Roasting took over an  hour, while assembling the meal only took 20 minutes.

photo 1The original recipe that I adapted this one from called for chicken sausage. I decided not to go the fake meat route but instead, roasted tomatoes to add a bit of texture variation to the dish. While everyone loves a good mac ‘n’ cheese, it usually doesn’t involve many veggies beyond onions. This is a great, lower calorie alternative, slathered in veggies, that was honestly just as creamy and enticing.  It was a great call, the tartness of the tomatoes contrasted perfectly with the sweetness of the squash. This recipe will serve two very hungry people and if doubled will easily serve a group of five or six. The two of us had it with a salad and still have a serving left over in the fridge… or at least we did last time I checked.

1 pound of butternut squash (in the fall, a pound of peeled and cut squash at Trader Joe’s is over $5 but in this season, it’s under $3, it’s definitely worth it to save you the time of cutting and scraping. If you do use roasted squash, you can cut it in half and will want to roast it whole for about 90 minutes, covered in foil, as opposed to the cut pieces which take less than an hour).

5 Roma tomatoes

2 tablespoons of Earth Balance Butter

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/3 of a 1-pound package of pasta (about 3 cups)

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon of olive oil

salt and fresh ground pepperphoto 4

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cut squash on a baking sheet and cover in foil. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour.

2. Grease a square pan with oil . Cut the tomatoes in half lenth-wise and place them in the pan, cut side up. Sprinkle generously with the basil, oregano, pepper, and a little salt. Roast at the same time as the squash for an hour to an hour and a half (do not cover in foil).

3. When the squash is tender but not browned, remove the foil and allow to cool slightly.

4. Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the earth balance on medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is medium-dark brown. Set aside.

5. Boil water for your pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside when done.

6. Put the cooked squash in a food processor and pour the butter over it. Blend until the mixture is creamy and there are no lumps. Set Aside.

7. Remove tomatoes from the oven.

8. Add the squash puree to the pan that you used for the butter. On low heat, stir in the lemon juice and the tomatoes (make sure to get all of the herbs that fell into the pan and toasted a little). After 2 minutes,

add the pasta and stir until coated. Serve while hot.

Yields 3 servings. Calories per serving: 380

 

Red Velvet Heart Cupcakes February 14, 2013

I’ve always wanted to make Red Velvet cupcakes but I figured they would be pretty substitution and soy heavy if I made them vegan. Turns out, I only had to turn to soy for one ingredient but in addition to Tofutti, they do require egg replacer, earth balance, and vegan food dye (India Tree dye is vegan and can be found at Whole Foods). Since I finally made the commitment to try and make them vegan, I decided I would go all out and make them insanely lovey and cutesy for Valentine’s day. Whether or not you decide to make heart shapes (all you need is marbles which are 99 cents at Party City) or get cupcake liners adorned with hearts (also 99 cents at Party City), these cupcakes are very February-appropriate and one of those things that none of your friends (or your boyfriend/girlfriend) will guess is vegan… until you start bragging of course.
For Cake:
2 sticks Earth Balance Butter
1 1/2cup sugar
3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons of water
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
India tree red food coloring or beet juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7/8 cup of almond milk
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
For Frosting:
1 stick Earth Balance Butter
4 ounces (1/3) container of Tofutti Cream Cheese
6 cups of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with liners and if you want heart shapes, put a marble in each cup outside of the liner to make an indent.
2. Melt the 2 sticks butter in the microwave in a large bowl for about 30 seconds (this is the time to leave the 3rd stick for the frosting out of the fridge too so that it’s room temp by the time you get to it). Add the sugar to the melted butter and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer mixed with water and beat on high speed while scraping the bowl periodically.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and the vanilla, add enough food dye to form a paste.
4. Mx the paste into the batter on medium speed.
5. In a measuring cup, stir the lemon juice into the almond milk. Add half of it to the batter and then one cup of the flour. Mix on medium speed until incorporated. Mix the other half of the almond milk and the other half of the flour into the batter until it is incorporated fully.
6. Switch the mixer back down to low and all the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Beat on high for another minute until smooth.
7. Pour into your muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.
photo 1-1
8. Cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tins and then remove the cupcakes and put them on a cooling rack so they can cool completely while you’re making the frosting.
photo 3-1
9. In a large bowl, use your electric mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 10 minutes. When you’re not texting with your other hand, (10 minutes is a long time), scrape the bowl as needed as you mix.
10. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sugar one cup at a time as your continue to mix. Add the vanilla last and mix on high until the frosting is fluffy (if you’re going to pipe it, make sure it is firm and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it). Pipe or spread onto your beautiful cupcakes!
photo 4-1
Yields: 36 cupcakes. Calories: 250, Carbohydrates: 35 grams, Fat: 12 grams, Sodium: 150 mg
 

 
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