MONGO NEED FOOD!!!
Being a vegan for a week in central Kansas is downright brutal, but the good news is that I've already seen a pretty nice change on the scale. The fact that it took me half an hour to find bread that didn't have milk in it probably had something to do with that--when you have to physically hunt for food, rather than just gather, it must trigger some sort of neanderthal-like increase in caloric consumption.
MONGO HUNT FOR FOOD!!!!
So, as I sit here and munch on carrot sticks, I think back to the glory days of food-o-plenty, and in particular, Christmas Eve, when I got to use Dad's kitchen to cook up a pretty sizable feast.
My dad is a cherry pie fiend, so I decided to make him one. The problem was I had never made a cherry pie in my life, so my good friend Darlene sent me her recipe which is fast, easy, and ever soooo yummy!!
All you do is use the Pillsbury ready-made dough, 2 cans of cherry pie filling, sprinkle everything with sugar and bake. Viola!
It didn't hurt that we ate it warm with vanilla ice cream on top, either.
Before we indulged on dessert, though, I made a our traditional Christmas Eve Mexican meal. Everyone's favorite part of the meal always seems to be either the salsa or the taco sauce, so I thought I'd share my world famous* recipes!
*in my own little world, that is.
For the salsa, all you need is a can of Rotel, jalapeno peppers, cillantro, red onion, garlic, and lime. The Chief's cookie jar is optional.
Amounts are all according to taste, so feel free to experiment. I like to add them, in this order, to my food processor, setting the processor to chop between each ingredient:
Red onion (about 1/8 cup as I usually don't like onion)
2 Jalapenos (remove the seeds if you don't like it hot)
1/2 cup of roughly chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 can of Rotel
I usually make up a batch of salsa first, and then cover and let it sit in the fridge while I make the rest of the meal. Letting it rest in the fridge seems to really marry all the ingredients together versus digging into it right away. It's a tough temptation to resist, but trust me, it's worth it.
Since this salsa has cilantro in it, it will only keep for a couple of days, but I've never had any problems with having it go to waste! With the fresh taste of the cilantro and tomatoes, I also prefer this salsa on chicken dishes, like chicken fajitas!
Then, because cilantro is just so amazingly awesome, I will add some to the fajitas as well. It's just the kind of girl I am.
In our household, we only use Le Dixie Fine China.
Now for the taco sauce:
I really made way too much, so go with only one can of tomato sauce at first. I like to use low-sodium and just add my own salt to taste, but our lovely little store out here in the boonies had nothing like that left, so generic it was!
Then you'll need vinegar (any kind will do, but I do like the sweetness of the apple cider vinegar), chili powder, salt, sugar (which I forgot here), and basically whatever other spices you can find in your pantry.
Using a sauce pan, warm up the tomato sauce slowly (or it will splatter) and add about a quarter can of water, a splash of vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. Then throw in a lot of chili power--I've never actually measured it, but make the sauce dark with it! Then use whatever else you have--garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, seasoned salt, black pepper, etc. I even throw in a bit of hot sauce for a kick of heat!
If you keep the sauce warm enough to allow it to reduce, be forwarned--it intensifies the flavors and especially the vinegar, so be careful with it!
I really like this sauce on beef dishes, like sanchos.
This post has done nothing to subdue my ravenous cravings for anything non-vegan. Milk, cheese, and eggs--oh my! I can't even have a coffee because I only like it with milk in it. Right now I'm pretty sure veganism was originally created as some sort of form of torture in the middle ages, resurrected by well-meaning, but totally unrealistic hippies in the 70's.
I really miss meat.
Actually, scratch that last sentence. That doesn't sound very proper at all.