I've been brewing up the Nabeyaki Udon from The Kind Diet every other week or so. It's a great, fast meal, and really healthy as well. Also, this may sound strange, but preparing the udon is a very calming activity for me. There is something peaceful about watching the vegetables simmer in the shiitake mushroom broth. It's an equally peaceful meal to eat -- all subtle, earthy, warming flavors, even with the soy sauce mixed in. The Kind Diet features a lot of macrobiotic dishes, the nabeyaki udon being one, and from what little I've read, macrobiotic food is supposed to make you feel more balanced.
I also filled a couple of soy sauce dishes with the great cabbage kimchi I made from Ani's Essential Raw Food Essentials. J told me that this is now his favorite pickle of all time. I love it too. So much that I went out and bought Korean red pepper seasoning (instead of the red pepper flakes used for pizza and pasta) for a more authentic taste the next time I make kimchi.
But that doesn't mean I have to stop making other pickles. There's a great recipe for Radish Umeboshi Pickles in The Kind Diet. I have no great love for radishes, but this pickle is pretty amazing. Here it is, pickling away in the umeboshi vinegar.
And sometimes, we have to have our cake and eat it too. Or in this instance, cupcakes. I haven't had a cupcake since becoming a vegan, which is kind of odd, because I have always been a certifiable cupcake fiend. I borrowed a copy of Isa and Terry's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World from the library and thought about making a batch, but it never happened. But yesterday, I decided: it was time to have a cupcake. I knew our local Dozen Bake Shop had a different vegan offering every day, so J and I stopped there on the way home. I was so excited to see that the flavor (written on a cute little blackboard) was red velvet! But there was a line drawn it -- they had run out!
J could tell by the look on my face that I was determined to have a cupcake. We drove to a cupcake shop in Shadyside called CoCo's that also sold vegan cupcakes, but it looked like the place had shut down. Instead of driving around to another place that might disappoint me, I dialed 411 and called the Lawrenceville branch of Dozen Bake Shop. They have five locations, because that's how good their pastries are! Anyway, I'd never been to the Lawrenceville store, but knew that it was the most-expanded of the stores, selling sandwiches and even offering brunch on the weekends.
Did they have any vegan cupcakes left? Yes, they did! The guy on the phone actually counted them out for me. They had 14 vegan cupcakes. 14!!! I bought two, one for me and one for J, for driving us around for an hour on a mad vegan cupcake hunt.
Here's a closer view.
It was a great cupcake. I'd had the non-vegan cupcakes from Dozen before, and the vegan red velvet did not disappoint. I could have eaten the frosting alone with a spoon, it was that good.