Monday, October 22, 2012

Tempeh and Mushroom Strogonoff - Looks So Odd. TASTES SO GOOD.

Autumn. Giver of gourds. The ideal season to slide back into the routine of wrestling with your can opener in a hot kitchen while accidental dustings of pumpkin pie spices and smears of canola oil surround you.  The drudgery looks quite worthwhile when you're finally stuffing your face with the hearty and scrumptious fruits of your labor. (To defend against this statement getting used out of context, I must reiterate that I do not advocate or tolerate the consumption of babies.)

I was looking for a simple new strogonoff recipe when I came across this great one from Whole Foods. Of course, pay no attention to the suggestion to use a vegan OR non-vegan ingredient (Tofutti Sour Supreme or death!!).

Getting started....look at those attractive choppings. I always engage in the risky activity of buying supermarket produce, and this time wasn't disappointed. Shop Rite usually sells perfectly decent portobello mushrooms and white onions. The sometimes-exquisite-sometimes-practically-decomposed apples may leave you breathless with rage, however.

Luscious frangrance as the garlic, onion, and mushrooms brown in the pan.

The finished yumm-o dish. As I mixed the brown gravy and sour cream, I couldn't help getting suspicious that this would taste like vomit (and not the superb Bad Taste kind). One bite was all it took to remind myself that I am an ignorant troll.

Notes: Instead of the suggested packet of gravy mix, I used about three quarters of a 10.5 ounce can of Shop Rite brand mushroom gravy. Also, I substituted instant whole wheat couscous for brown rice. Since rice is now being reported as a festering cancer bomb along with apple and grape juice (the cause, of course, is humans' slap-happy use of pesticides), I often use couscous, lentils, or quinoa in place of rice.

If you're looking for a dinner entree that warms your soul as well as any Quaker product, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cocktails and Dinosaurs: VeganMoFo Edition Week 2

Semi-weekly posts dedicated to the discovery of week old news on the internet.

This was my meal tonight for watching the US Vice Presidential Debate.  Soba Noodle Soup from Wild Ginger and Pumpkin Ale.  Oh yeah, and tons of Sriracha.

  • Speaking of Pumpkin Ale, I found a bunch of pumpkin ale taste tests on the internet, like on bon appetit,, and The Daily Meal.  The Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale seems to be fan favorite.  I can't vouch for them yet, but give me a week.
  • Pinnacle Vodka has a new flavor out just in time for the holidays.  But what kind of cocktail can you make with a Pumpkin Pie flavor vodka?  I got it!  Vegan White Russian with Pumpkin Pie Vodka.  That might be terrible, let me know.
  • While we're in pumpkin season, why not make vegan pumpkin whipped cream or pumpkin hummus OR a pumpkin keg.  Pumpkin Keg!  Okay, it's more of a pumpkin beer trough, but PUMPKIN KEG sounds so much cooler.
  • David Lynch has released his own signature limited edition Dom Perignon, The Power of Creation.  For the low low price of $150 US you can become the proud owner of your very own Lynchian Champagne filled with non-linear flavor structures and bubbles that defy logic with their own dark mystical behavior.
    Dom Perignon is vegan!  So the real question is, do I really need a new winter coat or should I buy a bottle of champagne I probably won't understand until I've drank it three or four times?
  • Hey Al Gore!  I think James Cameron just called you a fraud.
    "'You can’t be an environmentalist, you can’t be an ocean steward, without truly walking the walk,' said Cameron, 58. 'And you can’t walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant-based diet.'" (via The Examiner)

  • The Cinnamon Snail's Adam Sobel shares vegan cooking tips on Ecorazzi.  Get advice about everything from "how to prepare a bad ass tofu" to vegan frosting.

Korean Sausage and Potato Special from the Cinnamon Snail

Cocktail of the Week:  Aviation

I had this cocktail at Gallow Green located on the roof of the McKittrick Hotel, home of the "long-running interactive theater hit Sleep No More". (via New York Mag)  The Aviation cocktail is made with gin, creme de violette, lemon juice and a maraschino cherry and has made me change my opposition on gin.

Send any news tidbits and cocktails ideas to: monicatara[at]

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cocktails and Dinosaurs: VeganMoFo Edition Week 1

Semi-weekly posts with an assortment of news I found on the internet and then regurgitate for you here with links and stuff.

The month of October is the Vegan Month of Food, better known as VeganMoFo.  So if you're confused about what our blog is doing, you can read about it here.  While your at it, discover some great blogs, find amazing recipes, and look at hours of vegan food porn.

  • Speaking of vegan food porn, we've been flooding our twitter account with tasty photos from our delicious food adventures.  Follow us @blog_scuse_me!
  • Could Coachella switch to 100% Vegetarian Event if Morrissey and Johnny Marr will just put their differences aside and perform as the Smiths? According to Morrissey, yes.  What if after they played Coachella they went on a world tour?  Would the whole world go vegetarian?  There is only one way to find out.  Smiths Reunion Tour!!  (via Stereogum)
  • If you read the Stereogum article above, then you know Eric Bana is Morrissey's favorite Australian animal.  Can we just take a moment to appreciate that?

  • Do you like Sci Fi?  Are you a vegan?  Did you know Michael Dorn is a vegan?  Do you know who Michael Dorn is?  Well, if you've answered yes to most of those questions, then there a site for you!!  It's called


  • Vegan hair care products tested on film stars?  I guess I can live with that.  Rosario Dawson, Natalie Imbruglia, and hair care expert Tara Smith team up to build a better coif. (via Veg News)
  • On Grub Street this week, an article titled, "Eight Surprisingly Awesome New Vegan Dishes."  Is "surprisingly" necessary?  Anyway, "surprisingly" I've only been to one place this list so far.  Beyond Sushi is amazing and has had a table at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival the past two years.  I can't wait to try these other spots.  

Cocktail of the Week:  Kentucky Ginger

This is a cocktail I got at The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station.  If my memory serves me correct, this cocktail contained Maker's Mark, Domaine de Canton (ginger-flavored liqueur), and some sort of muddling with rosemary.  Essentially, a pricier version of a bourbon and ginger ale (psst... that's my favorite drink).  It was tasty, but the slight flirtation of rosemary made me wish there was more.

 These are some pictures inside The Campbell Apartment which creates a really cool, old new york-esque atmosphere (i.e. makes me feel important as I eat olives and sip cocktails).

Send any news tidbits and cocktails ideas to: monicatara[at]