Change!

I got tired of having so many blogs. My lives have converged…both vegan & bikeness can now be found on one wonderful location.

mtbVegan.com

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VOTC – Cheezee Rice & Bean Burrito

It might not be the most attractive picture, but this dish was quick, easy, and tasted amazing. Simple enough – just a can of pinto beans, rice, cheezee sauce and a few other things, mix it up…eat and enjoy!

Recipe 21:157, Pg 187

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Travel – MKE – Cafe Corazon

I finally made it out someplace new in Milwaukee…Cafe Corazon! After being recommend by several Milwaukee area twitter friends. So The BF & I headed out try out this new (to me) place. It was very busy (Saturday night) and we sat at the bar. The bartender was not the best…sort of rude and cranky with everyone. But, other than the cranky bartender everything else was great. Vegan options were plentiful and the options were clearly labeled (except the Torta…I was hoping get but was told because its made with bread it wasn’t vegan…so I’m not sure what kind of bread its made with but decided on something else).

The BF got the enchiladas with herbed tofu. The only thing I’d change is putting a bit more sauce on these. The flavors were great, just a bit dry since the sauce was only on the outside of the enchiladas.

I opted for tostados – very good, crunky, messy, and just awesome! Topped with black beans, rice, and herbed tofu – yum!

We also got grilled veggie tacos, since The BF is a bottomless pit we get a lot of food. These were very good. The veggies were cooked perfectly, still maintaining texture and flavor.

Overall, I was pleased. The food was good and served up quickly. I’d be willing to try it again and perhaps sit at a table to see if the servers are a bit more friendly.

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My *Vegan* Future

Back on the birthday I posted my “30 things for my 30’s” list. And even though it’s only almost 5 months old some modifications have been made…Specifically #5: Take the GRE (must find time!) & #6: Start Grad School (read: and finish) in a program that aligns with my passions

So what’s changed. Well, grad school is very (read: very) expensive. I was narrowing down my choices and then upon further research I found that I won’t qualify for financial aid. You have to be attending half time (2-3 classes per term) in order to qualify for any aid and that’s just not something I can do (not if I want to do anything outside of work & school…who needs sleep, right?). After realizing this in January I basically felt crushed and angry and so I prayed, a lot. Prayed my little heart out, friends we’re praying for me too. I also talked with The Sister, The Dad, & The BF. We all did a mental breakdown of what I like in life, what I don’t like, what I love doing, what makes me smile, what makes me angry, etc. And we all circled back to the same thing I’ve been circling back to since I was 10 years old (as The Sister said). Baking. Cooking. I love it. I love to feed people, I love the make cookies, cakes, pies, scones, bars, brownies, chocolate covered things, crisps, okay, I’m hungry now.

So what did all this mean? Do I really want to cook? Do I really want to be a chef? Perhaps. I did actually start out in culinary arts and had a massive panic attack involving a fish and removing it’s head. I realized that yes, I LOVE cooking, but I very much dislike and cannot handle cooking with animals. So where does that leave me? There are a few programs in the country that offer vegan options (score!) But currently I don’t live near any of them and I really love Chicago. BUT, there are a few intensive programs/certificates I can take. So…this April I’ll become a certified Vegan Baker. I repeat: a certified Vegan Baker! I’ll be going to the courses at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Needless to say I am excited. The final plan on how I’ll apply this new certificate is still in the works. But one things for sure, if you need a vegan baker let me know. I’d love to bake for you!!

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Product Review – Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

I love grilled cheese & tomato soup. Love, Love, Love! It’s pretty much the only way I like vegan cheese. So I set out to try a few new things. I found FIG Food Co at Whole Foods. Easy to make (empty package, fill package with water or non-dairy milk, stir together, heat…done)

Wonderful flavor, not too salty or too sweet. Tasted great with the grilled cheese dipped in it!

Price: 2/$6.00

Overall Rating: 4 piggies – homemade might be better

The BF back in his PV days liked grilled cheese with ham on it. So we opted to try the Lightlife Smart Deli Ham. Um, it was a big failure. The BF did not like the taste of the ham at all. He said it was weird and he couldn’t even finish his grilled cheese. Bummer!

Price: $3.59

Overall rating: 1 piggie

I opted to try two types of cheese’s. First theres the Follow Your Heart Cheddar. It was on sale and even said on the package “It Melts!”. I have no idea what it takes to melt this, but it did not melt. I grilled up my sandwich, even adding a few drops of water to the pan, then covering it to create steam to help the meltiung process…a slight softening of the cheese happened, but no real melting. Flavor was good, what I’d expect, didn’t have a weird texture, just didn’t melt!

Price: 2/$6.00

Overall Rating 2.5 piggies

Teese, from Chicago Soy Dairy was the second option I got. I’m a big fan of Teese and they’ve recently updated their products to make it more melty. No joke, this baby melted sans steam action. Creamy, melty, delicious. This cheese rocked.

Price: $3.99

Overall Rating 4.5 piggies (it’s my dislike of cheese that knocked it down 0.5)

As you can see here in my side by side compare…Follow Your Heart is on top – zero melty. Teese on the bottom – melty heaven!

Yes, the grilled cheeses & tomato soup rocked my world…or at least my lunch!

Overall satisfaction level: 5 piggies

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Travel – CHI – Loving Hut

Over the weekend The BF & headed out to Loving Hut.

I’ve been wanting to go, so I was super excited for the experience. The nice thing about Loving Hut is they label everything on the menu – Soy Free, Gluten Free, & Low Sugar. No worries about if it’s Vegan or not – it’s ALL VEGAN! It’s fab to be able to go out and pick anything off the menu, no worries, no explanations, now worries!

The atposhere is very casual. You go in, select a table (which is numbered) they give you a menu and then you figure what you want, walk to the counter & order.

So..what’d we get….

Starter: Steamed Dumplings

I love dumplings…enough said.

Starters: Drumsticks
Starters: Drumsticks – dissected!
mtbVegan: Dol Sot Bi Bim Bob
mtbVegan: Dol Sot Bi Bim Bob – inside the bowl

This was a really great dish. I loved the way it was served within the dish is was cooked – the brown rice was below all the veggies & tofu. Because the dish was so hot the rice got ncie and crispy which went well with the overall dish.

The BF: Forever Love

This had a wonderful sauce with it, very good. Of course The BF though it needed more sauce (what can I say the man loves huge portions & lots & lots of sauce). I thought it was just fine the way it was.

mtbVegan: Green Tea Cheese Cake

I was intrigued by this menu item…green tea cheese cake, really? So I got it. It was different, but still very good. Not too sweet (its marked as Low Sugar too). The crust was fab and the cheese cake was thick. The green tea flavor took a few bites to get used to then it rocked.

The BF: Carrot Cake

Most of you should know I do not like carrot cake. I’m a Spice Cake fan and all too often I get lame slices of carrot cake because people seem to think its the same (read: it is NOT). This carrot cake had great texture, flavors, the icing was super yummy. Even though I don’t like carrot cake, this was a good carrot cake.

Overall – I really enjoyed Loving Hut. It’s a bit out of the way for me, but it has huge menu and just a good vibe.

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Travel – CHI – Bleeding Heart

Last Friday I went to a Ladies “Non-Valentine” Night Out at my friends church. One of the events that night was cupcake decorating and since I’ve vegan that was a no-go for me. BUT, my friend scored a vegan chocolate raspberry cupcake from Bleeding Heart Bakery as well as a Raspberry Bar (which we split!).

Both were wonderful and I am really beginning to love Bleeding Heart!

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