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Typical weekday meals

Published March 4, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Yay! A lunch break! But also proof that I am still cooking sometimes and drinking water.

Yay! A lunch break! But also proof that I am still cooking sometimes and drinking water.

Just a quick hello on my lunch break from your favorite (?) vegan derby vampire! (Please link me if you know any other vegan derby vampires who blog!)

I’ve been meaning to write this long, involved blog post about weight gain, body image, and my new physique, but honestly, I really havn’t had the time. Instead I’ll just tell you that my prime blog writing time (lunch) has been hijacked by an increasing patient load at work, and that I might finish writing it eventually. Maybe.

Also, I’ll tell you about the typical week day meals that have been giving me fuel for practice, making my muscles, and pleasing my palatte. I don’t pretend to know tons about work out nutrition, but one of the girls I skate with asked. She used to be vegan, and is contemplating doing it again, but was curious how it would work with derby.  I’ve been trying to drink more water and make sure that I have lots of fruits, veggies, carbs, and our important friend… protein.

(This will go quick, because I only have 10 more minutes!!)

Typical day…

Breakfast: I’m generally a bad at breakfast person. I’ve been drinking emergenC (because people just keep on getting sick around me!) before I leave the house, followed by white tea. By the time I get to work I’m hungry, so I’m usually eating a Luna bar.

Snack: banana

Lunch: Food (kale, noodles, tofu type meals like above, peanut butter sandwiches, or bean/lentil dishes), yogurt and/or an orange

Snacks: banana/Luna bar/peanuts/raisins/cereal/and I would be lying if I didn’t include chips &  salsa, but I’m trying to cut back!

Dinner: This one varies a bunch. If it’s a practice night, I tend to get some tofu in there, either with high protein tofu at home or tofu pho (soup) from the restaurant if I get back early enough. Beans, lentils, and that sort of thing too, which is where my leftover lunches come from.

Anyway, that was a super quick rundown, but you get the idea!

Talk to you again soon! (Hopefully!!)

Photo: Robert Bakie

Photo: Robert Bakie


Black Bean & Garbanzo Chili (Vegan & GF)

Published February 5, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


I was hungry and happened upon new vegan blogger Hayley’s Chili recipe at just the right moment. It made a great inspiration for this tasty chili. I liked her chocolatey ingredient, but swapped regular cocoa powder for raw cacao since it was going to get cooked anyway (/I’m running low / it’s expensive / I order it on Amazon). I made some cheezy beer batter cornbread (recipe below) to go with it, and served it over kale and brown rice as a bowl. I think the leftovers will be great tomorrow over some pasta, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, for an easy chili mac!

I was originally going to call this Cuban Chili, but I found out [after google searching] that that is apparently another name for Picadillo?! Weird. Picadillo is SO not like chili. (You can check out my vegan picadillo recipes here and here!)

Black Bean & Garbanzo Chili (Vegan)

2 tbsp. olive oil (I used coconut here like Hayley’s recipe, but I prefer olive, up to you!)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped finely
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. dry sundried tomatoes, soaked in water for 10 minutes, (or use the oil packed ones) drained, and chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2  cans black beans, one rinsed and drained, and one can, liquid and all
1  can garbanzos, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. of frozen corn
2 c. vegetable broth
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground chipotle pepper, optional (in the bulk spices at Whole Foods)
2 tbsp. brown sugar (I used 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tbsp. agave because I ran out of the former)
1 tsp. cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
~ 1 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste


1. Heat oil in a large pot to medium. Add in onions, peppers, and carrots as you chop, and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an extra minute.

2. Add all other ingredients and bring up to a boil. Drop heat to low-medium and simmer for 1-2 hours.


So I was trying to figure out how to make some cornbread to go with the chili, using the contents of my pantry, and decided to take a stab at a gluten free beer bread. It wasn’t until I sat down to write it that I realized my obvious mistake. I used regular beer. I’ll have to give this one another try with gluten free beer, and see how it goes, but in case you’re interested, here’s what I did! (You can always use my Perfect Cornbread recipe, if you prefer!)

Cheezy Beer Batter Corn Bread (Gluten-Free if you use gf beer!)

1 c. cornmeal
2 c. all purpose gluten free flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
2 tbsp. sugar, optional (brown if you have it!)
1/4 c. nutritional yeast (nooch)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
few grinds of black pepper
1 can/bottle of gluten-free beer


Preheat oven to 375*F and grease a loaf pan.

1. In a large mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, nooch, baking powder, salt and pepper. Pour beer into dry mix, and stir until combined. The batter will look liquidy.

2. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

3. Let it rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then turn out to slice.



365 Pumpkin a little off?

Published November 26, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Just a heads up!

I made a couple of pies (my recipe here) tonight and discovered two things:

1. My new oven runs a bit hot.
2. The [Whole Foods] 365 pumpkin is a little weird this year.

As soon as I opened the can I noticed it was a really deep orange that seemed a little unfamiliar. The baked result had a little tang to it? In the past I thought the 365 brand was tastiest, but I’d urge you to skip it this year if you haven’t done your shopping yet. We’re heading to the store now to pick up some extra items, and some different pumpkin.

Good luck and happy baking! 🙂

Post Derby Brunch: Spinach Tofu Scramble & Vegan Steak Hash

Published October 17, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Once a month, PFM brings in Coach Alex DeLarge to give us a killer on and off skates work out with tons of squats, drills, and running to build our strength and endurance. The rest of the week it also reminds us of how many muscles it takes to get in and out of a chair or go upstairs! Though I fared much better this past Sunday than last month, my body has not quite yet forgotten it completely. It’s Wednesday. 🙂

Driving home from practice I was famished, and all I could think about was tofu scramble and toast. Thomas had been out for a bike ride while I was gone, and felt equally eager for food. I knew we had a pack of sprouted tofu in the fridge and some onions that needed using, so I quickly came up with this protein packed menu as I gobbled down some [untoasted] bread with the last of a container of hummus. I also made us both a brunch cocktail to sip on as I went to work…


Mmm! Just enough Jack for two brunch cocktails!

I decided to make a spinach tofu scramble, and a vegan steak hash with some fingerling potatoes and some Gardein Beefless tips. I got the latter ready first so it could bake while the scramble came together.

Vegan Steak Hash

olive oil for misting
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
~2 c. fingerling potatoes, somewhat peeled and chopped
1 package Gardein Beefless Tips salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a roasting pan or cookie sheet with a mist of olive oil. Spread out onions, garlic, and potatoes and mist with olive oil, grind some fresh pepper and salt on top and toss with hands to coat. Add Gardein and disperse evenly.

2. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 20 minutes. Done!




Spinach Tofu Scramble

olive oil for misting
1 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
4 cloves of garlic, minced
~8 oz. frozen chopped spinach (half a bag)
1 package of firm or extra-firm tofu, silken or regular will work
1-2 tbsp. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce/braggs/shoyu)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried thyme
cayenne pepper to taste, optional
salt & pepper

~1/4 c. nutritional yeast


1. Spray a skillet with olive oil, and raise to medium heat. Add onions and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add spinach and lightly season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Cook until all the frost is off, about 5 minutes.

2. Crumble in tofu, and all other ingredients except nutritional yeast. Stir until well combined and heated through, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast.


I had to chop my tofu to help the crumbling because it was the extra firm, sprouted kind.

I had to chop my tofu to help the crumbling because it was the extra firm, sprouted kind.



A purrfect post derby meal!

A purrfect post derby meal!

Vegan MoFo 2013:3 My fave utensil set & Leftover lunch

Published September 3, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Curry Masala - vegetables, seitan, tofu, coconut curry sauce

Curry Masala – vegetables, seitan, tofu, coconut curry sauce

So while I really had planned on making something a little more elaborate… it just didn’t happen yesterday. I ended up playing through another castle in Zelda Skyward Sword instead, and it just got too late. However, I did remember that we had a full tub of leftover curry sitting in the fridge from my Loving Hut birthday take-out! (Always order a bonus dish with your take-out. It’s dinner insurance!) So Thomas threw a pot of brown rice on the stove while I played on.

I did add a good 1/2 c. of frozen spinach and ~1/4 c. of water to get things going, but that was all. I let it simmer while I popped into the shower. It also ended up being my lunch today.


Which brings me to telling you about another of my favorite things…  (there’s that theme tie-in you were waiting for!)

Ok, actually… my utensil set.


I’ve had it for over a year now, and I love it and use it all the time. It has a permanent place in my backpack. In fact, when I first moved into this apartment last November, before we had any actual things here yet, this was my singular form of cutlery! You can read my full review here, but I’m curious to know what you all use? I also bought this little eco spork at Herbivore Clothing back when we made the drive up, but I’ve never actually used it to date. Most restaurants here are pretty good about using cutlery and not plastic ware, so I forget that I carry it around. But it’s a really nice, compact design for most of your needs, and will fit in even a tiny little wristlet!

How is your MoFo going? I found myself typing away at a computer on my lunch break at work. I think that’s going to be another theme this month too!


Vegan Mofo 2013:2 Chickpeas & Sausage

Published September 2, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


One of our favorite recipes is my veganized version of the Cuban classic Garbanzos con Chorizo. I’ve made this versatile recipe a number of different ways, including with Soyrizo, but our reigning fave is with Tofurky brats.

That being said, we had some hotdogs in the fridge and chickpeas in the pantry. I was short the green pepper and tomato sauce, but  once Thomas knew I was contemplating making this for dinner, everything else I offered up just didn’t stand a chance. So he made a quick trip to the store for the necessary ingredients, as well as some brown rice.

You'll be needing this.

You’ll be needing this. (But get the brats if you can!)

Because I really hate nothing more in the kitchen than to chop onions, I do the ole throw everything in the food processor trick. You’re going to have to dirty it to get the “sausage” of your choice to the proper texture anyway, so just go right ahead. And in an even lazier fashion than normal, I used crushed garlic out of a jar. I usually just throw the whole cloves in with the onion and pepper, but honestly I was trying to conserve the last of my fresh cloves. (Need to do a shopping trip today or tomorrow if I’m going to keep up with MoFo!)

In just 5 pulses, you have perfectly chopped veggies. Love it.

In just 5 pulses, you have perfectly chopped veggies. Love it.

While the sofrito cooks, you can get your protein in the food processor and pulse it until it looks like a consistent crumble. Speaking of the sofrito, for the tomato base I used a whole 8 oz. can of tomato sauce this time and 2 tbsp. of tomato paste + 2 tbsp. of water. Next time I might add some drained, diced tomatoes. Try whatever combination you want there. It will still be good. Oh, also, I only use 3-4 tbsp. of olive oil as the base now. No problem. A little less flavor, but a lot less fat.


You can also use any extra time to drink a delicious beverage of your choice. It doesn’t even have to go with the dish! Our current bottled selections are very fall inspired. We have ciders, octoberfest, pumpkin, and spiced beers. 🙂


After the sofrito cooks through, you add in your sausage and chickpeas and let that baby simmer for a good 30 minutes. Mine ended up perfectly timed with the brown rice. I love it when that happens. One timer for all.

Put a lid on it!

Put a lid on it!

That’s really it. So it’s only 15 active minutes. The rest is just simmering. I just threw a little parsley on it for the sake of the picture, but I’d recommend using some cilantro if you have any!



Now to come up with all the other favorites I want to tell you about this month! For my own ease, as well as getting to something that I really haven’t been doing like I should… I’ll be peppering in favorite vegan food from around Seattle too. Stay tuned! All of your blog posts from day 1 were already looking amazing.

Until the RSS feed files are out, I’ll be using the RandoMoFo website to check out a sampling of what’s going on for the day. Have you tried it? It’s a great way to discover new blogs, especially ones that may not be posting at the time you get around to looking at your feed!


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Yellow Split Pea and Tempeh Stew

Published August 13, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


We were really supposed to go to the grocery store tonight, but Thomas had a deadline at work today and came home super late. There were some peppers in the crisper going bad that I was able to salvage for this absolute, clean out the fridge, we really MUST go to the store tomorrow meal! As my mother taught me, there is nothing more reliable than a pot of lentils or split peas on a weekday night to get dinner done. And as I declared my kitchen plans, Thomas said they he was happy because I make a great split pea soup! Well, I’m glad he thinks so, for his sake, considering the number of them I’ve come up with! The spices I used here are just a little of this and that; you can use what you like. I served this with some nice brown basmati rice and some love. 🙂

Yellow Split Pea and Tempeh Stew

1 1/4 c. split peas, rinsed
8 c. filtered water
3 vegan bouillon cubes

1 medium red onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used half yellow, half green)
1/2 jalepeno pepper, chopped finely, optional
2″ piece ginger, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt

1 package of tempeh, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. frozen spinach, optional


1. Throw rinsed split peas into a 5 qt. pot with water and bouillon cubes, and turn the heat up to high.

2. Chop up everything else, and toss in as you go. Add in seasonings. Throw in the tempeh.

3. Drop to simmer at low/medium for 45 minutes. Add frozen spinach if using, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Enjoy as a soup with some fresh baked bread, or as a stew over a nice simply cooked grain.


Baseball & Vegan options at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA

Published August 12, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been lately… I’ve been watching baseball, mostly the Red Sox. I bought the MLB internet package, and it’s really been taking up a lot of my time. Which frankly, has been a nice, small, baby step away from the constant strain of social media. Oh, and in case you’re wondering how a Florida girl living in Seattle is a Red Sox fan, you should probably know that It is a hereditary fandom passed down by my Cuban mom who grew up in Boston! 🙂

One of the many cool things about living in Seattle is that the Mariners are American League, and play against the Red Sox. (Unlike the Marlins!) So when the Red Sox came to town, you better believe that I dragged Thomas over to Safeco Field. I had been dying to get over there anyway to check out the vegan chili cheese dogs, but I also hadn’t seen the Red Sox since my mom took me to Fenway Park back in the mid 90s. I was beyond thrilled!


But before we settled in to watch the game, we needed to find food and cider/beer. Surprisingly enough, section 132, did not only have the aforementioned chili cheese dog stand, All American Vegetarian, which had Field Roast dogs and burgers…there were also two vegan friendly stands on either side! The Natural, on the right, offered smoothies and salads and veggie dogs, including gluten free options, and the other, Bao Choi (left), apparently has “vegan bao (soft buns filled with gochujang glazed eggplant, cilantro cabbage and kimchi mayo), created by the red-hot chef from Vedge in Philadelphia” – according to a review from Seattle Magazine.




For those of you that care, we were also pleasantly surprised by the selections of decent beers and ciders. I found 3 different kinds of cider (regular Crispin, and 2 flavors of Fox Barrel) on draft close to the bleacher section where we were sitting! The beers and ciders were around $9 for a large cup. If you want more information on the many beers available, check out this article!


And here we are settled in with our dogs, and a blackberry pear cider and a regular cider. The dogs were actually much tastier than they look here.  I read that the cheese they use is Chicago Vegan Foods Teese sauce, but it was served straight out of a squirt bottle at room temperature, making for an unappealing appearance. (I’ll probably just skip the fake cheese next time.) The chili had a lot of nice veggies in there, along with the beans, and the dogs were field roast (yum!) and came with lots of cooked onions. Pretty good, even though they were fairly cooled down by the time we got our beverages and to our seats. (You can read more about the field roast dogs at their initial introduction tasting at Helen’s blog Vegtastic or Dawn’s Vegan Moxie too!)


We had a blast, and are sure to be visiting Safeco park again soon. (We’ll even cheer for the Mariners this time, promise!) We’ll also report back with any additional food research we do, so stay tuned.  🙂

Think you’re too busy for green smoothies?

Published July 9, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


I’ve been busy with our friend Jay’s visit for the last week, and haven’t been in the kitchen much. All that eating out had left me feeling a bit junky though, so we picked up a bag of frozen spinach last night at the grocery store.

I’m here to tell you that making green smoothies can be as simple as you like. I won’t get up any earlier in the morning to make ours, so I make them at night, before bed. Then they’re ready to grab as we head out the door. I use my giant reusable slurpee straw to stir mine back up the next day, but Thomas has a blender bottle. (Just a plastic bottle with a whisk like ball dropped in to mix the contents.) If there is any left I pour it into a ball jar that you can shake up for a quick snack.

I also shamelessly use frozen fruit and greens. My greens are generally kale, collards, spinach or a mixed variety bag (even broccoli in a pinch!). My fruits tend to be pineapple, mango, and berries. The only fresh items I really use are bananas, apples and pears, or occasionally citrus. I buy over-ripe bananas or let mine fully ripen, peel & halve, and then freeze them myself. I try to buy organic for greens, berries, apples or pears, but sometimes I can’t.

What am I getting at? We just feel better when we drink green smoothies… even if they’re not made fresh that second, or from all fresh, organic ingredients. The freezer stuff is cheaper and easier, and it keeps my morning routine as simple as possible. Find what works for you, and try it and see. You’ll be glad that you did! 🙂

Smoky Black Bean Bowls (on a budget!)

Published June 5, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Baby’s on a budget! Between all the moving around I’ve done in the last few years, my recent uninsured arm fracture (I am now insured though – as of Saturday, woo!), and the loss of my old station wagon/attainment of a shiny new, gas friendly hatchback, my debts have piled sky high. So I sat down today and used two phone apps to get myself on a budget.

My thoughts immediately turned to food. In the last year I’ve become very reliant on going out and ordering in, instead of cooking. It started when we moved to Fort Lauderdale, with the major kitchen downsize, and had just continued since with all the changes this past year, but it ends now! My new goal is $50 week for groceries. Today we did $58, including beer & cider, at Trader Joe’s. I thought that was a pretty good first effort.

So in order to make this work, I decided to go back to my roots. Being Cuban/Honduran I grew up with lots of legumes and rice for weeknight meals. Trader Joe’s didn’t have dry beans, which I’m determined to start using for the most economical bang for my buck, but they did have plenty of well priced canned beans and other things. Next week we’re going to check out the local co-op to see what they have.

This was just something I whipped up based on a more traditional recipe. I served it over some kale and brown rice (a mix of short grain & basmati) for a hearty grain bowl. We sprinkled nutritional yeast on top, and the kale wilted and cooked perfectly under the hot broth.

Smoky Black Beans

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped

1/2 c. chopped tomato (I used 1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes w/chiles)

2 16 oz. cans black beans, undrained (I used Trader Joe’s Cuban Style black beans)

1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce)
+ water to equal 1/2 cup

1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. vinegar (white or red wine)

Salt & Pepper, as needed
Hot Sauce, to taste, optional (I used a delicious local habanero sauce)


1. Heat olive in a medium pot over low-medium heat. (While it’s heating I roughly chop the garlic, green pepper, and onion and then pulse it in the food processor to a finer texture.

2. Add garlic, onion, and pepper to pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

3. Add the tomatoes, and let them cook for about 10 minutes.

4. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Taste for seasoning. Raise the heat until it bubbles, cover, and drop to low to simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Serve over any greens & cooked grain of your choosing. We sprinkled with nooch, and I would have liked to throw some avocado on there, but it wasn’t quite ready yet. Enjoy!

Over a nice bed of fresh kale.

Over a nice bed of fresh kale.

Kale is perfectly cooked and bright green from the hot broth! Mmm!

We let it sit a minute or two so the kale was perfectly cooked and bright green from the hot broth! Mmm!

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