Thursday, November 13, 2014


One of the top questions vegans seem to get (at least, in my experience) is, "So, what do you eat on Thanksgiving?" Rather than just answering the question, I decided to post some recipes. While this year I'll be Las Vegas getting my feed bag on at the Wynn Buffet (big ups to not having go wash dishes!), I usually make the following:

-tofurkey (recipe not included as it's pre-made)
-mock chicken pot pie
-green bean casserole
-stuffing (my grandmother's recipe that I veganized)
-mashed potatoes
-pumpkin pie

Oh, and maybe a salad since it's nice to have some food that doesn't send you into a carbohydrate-induced coma.  

Mock Chicken Pot Pie

1/4 cup vegetable bouillon 
2 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 15.5-oz. can white potatoes, drained and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen or canned and drained mixed corn kernels, peas, and diced carrots
1/2  lb. faux chicken, cut into tiny cubes
1 box puff pastry sheets
       Preheat the over to 400 degrees. Mix the vegetable bouillon powder with the hot water to make stock. Combine the nutritional yeast and flour in a large pot and stir constantly over low heat until lightly toasted. Add the oil, stirring to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the stock, garlic salt, and pepper. Add the vegetables and faux chicken. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry and place in a 9-inch pie dish, trimming to fit. Place the pastry in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until it starts to puff. Remove the pastry from the oven, pour the filling into it, and place the other sheet of puff pastry on top, cutting and pressing together the edges and making several 1-inch slices on top to allow the steam to escape. Continue baking for approximately 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed.

Green Bean Casserole

¼ cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
¼ cup flour
1 ½ cups vegetable broth, warmed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Two 14.5 oz cans green beans, drained
One 2.8 oz can French fried onions
1. Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until it forms a roux.
3. Add broth, soy sauce, and garlic power; whisk for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
4. Add the oil and nutritional yeast. Whisk again until smooth.
5. Pour the sauce into a small casserole dish, add the green beans and stir to coat.
6. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then top with the French fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes, until browned and bubbly.

Standard Bread Stuffing

3 quarts soft bread cubes (3 quarts = 12 cups)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 melted margarine
2 heaping tablespoons of corn starch plus 4 tablespoons of water (mixed together) 
3/4 boiling water

1.  Mix bread, salt, sage, pepper, onion and celery in large bowl.  Pour melted butter over it and mix well.
2.  Add corn starch mixture and water.  Mix lightly until well blended.

Note - If a dry dressing is preferred, decrease liquid.

Cook at 375 degrees for 1/2 hour.
Cook in a casserole dish or in a covered bowl.

Mashed Potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil 
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes


1. Place the olive oil in a small saute pan set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, and cook until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
2. Peel the potatoes, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Place chunks in a medium saucepan filled with cold water. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until a knife inserted into a potato chunk comes out easily. Drain potatoes in a colander set over a heat-proof bowl, reserving 1/3 cup cooking water. Transfer potatoes and reserved water to a medium bow
3. Using a whisk, mash the potatoes and reserved cooking water until smooth. Whisk in the reserved olive oil and garlic. Season the mashed potatoes with salt, and serve.

Pumpkin Pie

2 10.5 ounce packages silken (soft) tofu
1 pre-made pie crust
1 16 ounce can pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients, except for the pie crust, until smooth.

Pour into pre-made pie crust. Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Chill before serving, if desired.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween in Iowa

I spent Halloween in Iowa. As a law suit. Hashtag wocka, wocka, wocka.

The day before Halloween, I hit the road with my good buddy, Steve Sabo. First stop: performing at the Big House East Sports Bar in Harlan, Iowa.  The crowd was a ton of fun, and I got to meet these folks:
The couple on the right even knew someone from Dexter, who they immediately called upon hearing that's where I'm from. It's always great to chat with another Dreadnaught and reminisce about being from a town nobody has ever heard of, in another town nobody has ever heard of.

After Harlan, we drove four hours to Manchester. We were set to perform the next night at the Pine Oaks Event Center, so we figured we'd get there a night early, dress up in our ridiculous costumes, and make fools of ourselves.

Mission accomplished.

Yes, I actually went in public with this.

First, we stopped at a restaurant where nobody else was dressed up. Not only were we the only ones in costume, but I'm pretty sure Sabo was the only one wearing a onesie. Nobody knew what we were ("an attorney?" "a zombie rabbit?"), which we'd later learn would be a theme for the night.

I ordered the veggie burger, which came with lettuce and tomato. Just because we were in rural Iowa, where it seemed the only other restaurant for miles was Dairy Queen, I asked for clarity from the server, "that is vegetarian, right?" She confirmed it was.

Ten minutes later, she returned to our table. "I am so sorry. That's actually not a vegetarian burger. It's a hamburger...with veggies on it."

Oh, Iowa, where iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato count as "veggies."

After the restaurant, we bar-hopped for a bit. And, I ran into Sparty!

At the final bar/club where we ended up, we were not the only people dressed up. In fact, there was a contest that featured some really amazing, homemade costumes, like the one this guy created:

We met a lot of townies, and even convinced some to go to our show. Some of them even bought us drinks in convenient containers.

All in all, it was a fun place to spend Halloween. And, I can now say I've heard "Man in the Mirror" blasting at a dance club.

Thank you, Iowa.