Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Corn Fungus was Fabulous…Woo hoo!

The weather on Monday was absolutely gorgeous. When we heard that temperatures were expected to rise into the mid to upper 80’s we knew that meant dinner on the patio tonight for us. Knowing that we would be going out meant a reasonably light food day to keep things in check.

It was wonderful to start the day opening the windows to let the fresh air into the house. Any day when I have the windows open is a good one in my opinion. I am convinced that I feel better when the windows are open and the fresh air is flowing through the house.

I started my morning with green juice. This juice combination included: ½ bunch kale, 3 stalks celery, 1 lemon, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and a little sparkling water. If you like sweet things this is not the juice for you. However if you are like me and favor things like savory oatmeal then you should give this a try.

My lunch was a giant salad that contained about 6 cups of mesclun, topped with strawberries and blueberries and topped with almonds and a dressing of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and white miso. If you like you can sweeten this dressing with a touch of stevia or leave it out. This dressing has a big punch so you only need a very small amount to flavor your salad.

My afternoon snack was an orange and Brazil nuts. As you can see Masi had to check out the orange for me and make sure it was fit for consumption. Good thing I have my cats to look out for me.

I bet you know exactly where we went for dinner right? Dinner was the “vegan prix fixe” by our very beloved chef friend Ian. He was kind enough to use both the corn fungus and tempeh in dinner which I was thrilled to hear.

Our appetizer was tofu in a spicy corn smut (aka corn fungus or cuitlacoche) sauce on top of arugula. The black color was very scary but honestly given some of the omni dishes we had had this was really not too threatening. The flavor was out of this world. He went with the fungus angle and added shitakes and truffle and also added corn (it was corn fungus after all), edamame and chilis. We both this dish and it was definitely our favorite. As you can tell we both like “unusual foods”?

Course two was zucchini and tomatoes over gnocchi which appeals to my Italian DNA. I can’t think of a single Italian dish that I don’t love. Some of them are off my list now (because they are meat or dairy based) but I still love them only now it is from afar.

The entrée was Indonesian curried tempeh and veg over sticky rice. We thought this had great flavor and texture but to say that Ian was not excited about working with the tempeh would be an understatement.  Ian didn’t like the texture or the flavor of it plain. Oh well, at least he tried it right? He is still willing to try working with seitan so there is still hope. He has made huge strides coming from a place where everything has demi glace or beurre blanc and we really appreciate that he has done that for us.  We really adore you Ian I hope you know that.

Peta’s Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door:

Early this morning I received a very nice email from Paige introducing herself and telling me that she was taking part in the PETA contest for the Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door. Paige went on to explain that she also went to Loyola (like Dan and I did) and was a health conscious vegan. When she asked me to vote for her and mention it on my blog how could I possibly say no given all we had in common? One thing she told me that I had to share was that she changed her diet after realizing that when she ate a lot of junk she felt like junk. If only I had been that smart at her age. Here is the link to her page, please vote for her.

Additionally Carissa also asked me to vote for her later today. I double checked and you can vote more than once in this round so please also vote for Carissa who is about as sweet as they come. She entered to get back to Hawaii to see her family. You can check out her blog here.

Good luck to you both!

Happy Thoughts:

• Monday was a great day. The weather was glorious and we had a lovely dinner on the patio soaking up the 80 degree temps and gentle breeze. It was just a great day to be alive and in love.

• I have been crazy busy the last few weeks but thankfully I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and know it isn’t a train. Knowing my life will be returning to normal very soon is enough to make me feel better. ;-)

• We had a lovely dinner Monday night and Ian really put himself out there. He is so good to us, you have no idea. We are very lucky to have him in our lives.

• The stolen tag issue has been resolved and now both cars are back in service, now with locking bolts on the tags. We were fortune to have two cars, and one that wasn’t needed so that the tag issue could be taken care of so quickly.

• Luca Belle is doing very well on her new medication from the DVM. It looks like she will be getting her teeth taken care of soon. We had to stabilize her asthma before she could go under anesthesia. It is nice to have the asthma under control. I worry about my fur children when they aren’t feeling 100%.

Signing out:

I have a lot to get done this evening before I can turn in. However by lunch time tomorrow my life returns to my usual lady of leisure ways, LOL. Can’t say that is coming soon for me.

I hope this week is treating you well so far. Before I forget, I have soybeans soaking now for coconut soymilk tomorrow. I will keep you informed how that works out. My goal is to make a low-fat coconut milk substitute using soy milk thickened with oats. Hopefully I will get this right on the first shot. *fingers crossed. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. Hi, Ali, I don't see a way to email you so I'm leaving a comment. Hope that's okay.

    I saw this article in the NY Times magazine & immediately thought of you. Just passing it on...I'm a few days behind on my blog reading so sorry if you've already seen it/addressed it. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

    Have a great day!

  2. Jackie,

    Thank you so much for thinking of me. Sugar is one of my hot button issues so this article is perfect for me. ;-)

    My email is on my profile page, or at least it should be there. Now I need to double check that. So you have it next time it is: veganepicurean@gmail.com.

    Happy Wednesday!

  3. That green drink looks amazing. I'll have to try it. Hope things calm down for you a bit!
    Lots of Love,

  4. Aimee,

    Thanks, with a little luck things should be slowing down very soon. *fingers crossed*


  5. Mmm...zucchini :-) That dish looks great!


  6. Hi again I have been following for awhile now and have left a comment here and there, and I just wanted to let you know that I have been eating your savory oatmeal for dinner most nights, and I <3 it. I don't know why I thought that it would be like sweet oatmeal with veggies on top, but that is not it at all.

    I told a coworker about it and I said that oatmeal is the new rice.

    Anyway, I am about 70% vegan and 90% vegetarian. I guess that makes me neither, lol...

    However, I think that I am eating way healthier! Mostly whole foods, little bread or pasta, mostly fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

    Anywho, thanks for the continued inspiration!


  7. Courtney,

    I know it doesn't look appealing but the corn fungus dish was our favorite. I have no idea how he does it but Ian makes the most interesting things. We both loved that dish, but then again we are fairly adventurous eaters. ;-)

    The zucchini was delicious too. I need to pick up a few russet potatoes and make some gnocchi. It has been at least 6 months since I made them. Thanks for the nudge.


  8. Susan,

    I am so glad you are enjoying the savory oatmeal thank you for letting me know. I understand your apprehension at first I had it too. But you are right it is nothing like sweet oatmeal which is hard to imagine until you have tried it. I love that "oatmeal is the new rice". Wish I had thought of it. LOL

    Congratulations on eating a mostly whole food plant based diet. Good for you! Sounds to me like your diet is more nutritious than most of America. Keep up the good work. The longer you eat that way and the closer you get to vegan the better I think you will feel ... that is what happened for us.

    thank you so much for sharing,


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