by Jon5. June 2013 07:03

It's great to be able to grab a handful of fresh berries for breakfast.



Lazy Gardening

by Jon11. May 2013 05:51

OK, I'll admit it, I'm a pretty lazy gardener. I don't have a lot of time for weeding and such so I take as many shortcuts as I can. I'll pass along a couple of things today and more when I think of them. First, two years ago I had a bell pepper plant in a pot that I got in late and it didn't do too much. I mix flowers and veggies in these pots and decided to try to save the flowers for next year instead of buying new ones). I left the pepper in as well. It made it thru the winter and picked up right where it left off, cranking out pepper early in the season. This is it's third year and it's doing fine. I had no idea you could keep peppers so long. Here's proof:


Also, a real good way to have greens pretty close to year round is Swiss Chard.  It's a perennial  and pretty cold hardy. It's early May in Tennessee and I have been eating off mine for weeks.



Putting in the garden

by Jon28. April 2013 05:34

It's that time of year and I'm putting in some tomatoes, peppers and other things. I tried to grow some things from seed but it didn't work out so well. I may try planting some pablanos and eggplant from seed. I broke down and bought plants at the Depot a week or so ago. So far so good. I also planted some squash and spring vegies, (brussell sprouts and cabbage). I have to worry about vine borers here, so I planted Hubbard's Blue and butternut squash as well as some cucs, cantaloupe and watermelon from seed. They are supposed to be resistant to the vine borer. Pumpkins and summer squash will have to come later.


In Search of Cheez Wiz (Part 3)

by Jon18. April 2013 18:51
I decided to make the cheese sauce recipe in the Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook, which is phenomenal. But their cheese sauce recipe was pretty much like the others. I did try to add some miso and marmite to the result but didn't really get the result I wanted. Maybe I didn't add enough to the fairly large supply I had. At any rate, it didn't work out so well. I will continue to ponder a good recipe alternative. In the meantime I found something pretty close to what I want. It is called the Daiya Cheddar Style Block. I can't pronounce many of the ingredients but it's get real close to what I want. I will call this case closed until I can think of a better alternative.


In Search of Cheez Wiz (Part 2)

by Jon16. March 2013 15:10

I got a good recommendation about the recipe from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook so decided to try it. It is a combination of Great Northern Beans, pimentos, tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and some spices. It was actually a lot better than I had expected. The pimentos and lemon juice made it really zingy. It still didn't taste real similar to Cheez Whiz but my main complaint was it had kind of a chalky aftertaste because of the tahini. Maybe there is a way to reduce that. I don't know. Also when I tasted some after it was in the fridge for a couple days the pleasant tart taste had be reduced and a more beany taste was more noticeable. Still, I am glad I tried it and may make it again with less tahini more maybe a better quality one. I am going over some ideas for a new, original recipe that uses some of the ideas from the previous recipes but also uses miso or maybe Marmite. To be continued....


Dead Broccoli

by Jon13. March 2013 17:17

I sprouted some broccoli and had it in the window. Then my wife put a cactus in front of it. I totally forgot about it, didn't water it and it died. At least I have someone else to blame.


This is what happens when I forget my lunch

by Jon13. March 2013 17:11


In Search of Cheez Wiz (Part 1)

by Jon28. February 2013 09:55

"Why?" You are probably asking. Well, the answer is to make vegan Philly Cheese Steak. I spent some time in Philly years ago and, of course, had to try a Philly cheese steak. At first I was a bit appalled that this world famous sandwich is made from bad cuts of beef sliced thinly and the chopped up when cooked so it is edible. Then it is cooked with onions and finally, of all things, Cheez Wiz is poured on top. But when I finally ate it I realized something magical happens and it ends up being really tasty, addictive even.
So when trying to make a vegan version the beef is easy by substituting seitan, which you can find in most groceries and it can be made really easily as well. The problem is the Cheez Wiz. I tried a recipe I found on the net which is like a lot of cheese sauce substitutes that uses raw nuts, brewers yeast and something like lemon juice to make it zingy. The one I used also called for dijon mustard, which dominated the flavor of the sauce and made it really NOT Cheez Wiz like. It does taste pretty good as a substitute for something like Dijonaise on sandwiches but is not what I am looking for. I looked at my copy of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and found one that is real similar but uses great northern beans instead of nuts. I don't have much faith it will be any better.
So, it's time to get creative and figure something out for myself. I am thinking the raw cashew paste is a good starting point. I may add some margarine to make it melt and give some of that tangy flavor. Then I am thinking of trying some lemon juice along with some marmite to give some zing. I will report back when I get back from the lab....


About Meat and Cheese

by Jon21. February 2013 16:00

I probably rely too much on fake meat products. I was raised in a meat and potatoes household. My dad did not even like pizza because it wasn't meaty enough. I still like a lot of the meaty comfort foods like beef stroganoff. Here is a recipe I use.

1 package wide noodle - egg free
1 package Gardein Beefless Tips
8 oz. Sliced Mushrooms
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Toffuti Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 cup vegetable broth
salt to taste

Cook noodles to package instructions. Cook onion, garlic, mushrooms and "beef" in olive oil until onions and mushrooms are soft. Add sour cream, tomato paste and half the broth. It's easier if you mix together first. Add more broth until it has the consistency you want. Salt to taste and simmer. Add more sour cream to make it creamier. Put over eggless noodles and enjoy.

There are a lot of meatless meat copies that are really tasty, including pepperoni and sandwich meats. Cheese, on the other hand, tastes nothing like the original. You can buy all sorts of slices, blocks and soft "cheeses". They are all terrible. They are made from nuts, tofu and whatever. They are useless. Except for one. Vegan Parmesan from Galaxy Nutritional Foods. I'm not a  fan of most of their cheesy products because they contain casein, which is a milk product and therefore not vegan. This one is better and makes it able to enjoy lots of Italian pasta dishes that just don't taste right without a bit of Parmesan. Thank you Galaxy.




by Jon15. February 2013 13:14

After several false starts I finally got my blog software up and working. Thanks to the guys at for the fine work and free software. I hope to learn the finer points quickly.


About the author

Jon lives in Nashville, Tennessee and likes to garden. He hasn't eaten meat in over 10 years. OK, he has had fish occasionally. He's trying to be vegan but it's hard.

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