Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

When most people hear or think the word VEGAN, their brow furrows and they think, "What do you eat??". It isn't all tofu and fake meat, my curious little friends. I don't like food that tastes like twigs. I don't gather leaves outside and boil them in a broth of Burt's Bees and Whole Foods leftovers.

Great tasting food.
This girl can eat, I promise. Maybe it's not rotting carcass and maybe it's full of ingredients that confuse people even more than the phrase, "I LOVE TOFU!", but I love me some tasty grub.

Most days, I eat really well. I try to stick to 1200 calories or less, give or take depending on how hard I work out (or how hard I sit on the couch). Some days, however, I need comfort food.

Whether it's a fat day:

...or a bad hair day:

...or just a plain, ol' broken heart:

...comfort food really hits the spot. Maybe you'll feel a little guilty the next day, but nothing makes this girl feel better than something greasy or chocolatey or not-good-for-you. Hopefully these days don't last long, so I say SPLURGE!!!

That's why I love these onion rings.
1. They're beer-battered. I heart beer.
2. They're fried. I don't eat fried food often, but it's yummy.
3. They're onion-y. No one wants to be around someone who's eaten straight-up onions, unless they're eating them with you, so dig in.

Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: However long it takes to get them greasy-brown

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beer (Bud Light for a bad hair day, IPA for the heart)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
salt to taste
1-2 large onions, sliced into rings
1 quart oil for frying

1. In a HUGE pan (or deep fryer, if you have one, which is crazy!), heat the oil to 375° F. If you don't have a thermometer, here's a trick: splash a drop of water in the oil and if it "freaks out", you're good to go.

2. Dip the onions in the batter. Try not to let a lot of it drip off; immediately and carefully drop the onion into the oil. Repeat! Make sure you don't overcrowd them. You can flip them over if you want, just to check the color. When they're golden brown, carefully take them out with a pair of tongs and place them on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb the greasy deliciousness. Do this until all your onions are cooked up. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Serve this with leftover beer, then a full one. I dipped mine in a mixture of ketchup, vegan mayonnaise, and hot sauce. They were heavenly.

That's it, my dears. Remember: when all else fails, food is there for you. Spoken like a true fat kid. :)

I hope this Tuesday finds you with good hair, skinny jeans, and a happy heart!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Chicken" Salad

Goodness gracious!!!
Can you tell it's been a busy summer??? I just looked and saw that I only posted FIVE TIMES last month. I promise, it's with good reason. After visiting with my mom:

...going to Wisconsin to see some of our darling friends get married (and meeting some of the nicest people in the world!!! I love Wisconsin!!!):

...and having a visit from my best friend (she's Canadian, it's been 7 years, and it was the best trip EVER!):

(We got matching tattoos! We're avid tea drinkers. Tea has been there for us when jobs and boys and catty girls and the party scene haven't.)

...I'm a little tired and looking forward to some down time. Not before I share this amazing recipe with you, though!

I was at the grocery store the day that my MerMer left. My other favorite friend in the world (yeah, I have a few of those!), Missy, had sent me a text about the "chicken" salad she had just made. I asked for the ingredients, bought them, and within 20 minutes, was eating it. She laughed a bit at me because I had made it so fast, but it sounded so good!

(Quick background on Missy: we've known each other for years. For some reason, when we lived on the island of Okinawa together, we weren't vegan or even vegetarian. Now that we're no longer almost-neighbors, she decided to jump on the vegan bandwagon with me and we're both so aware of what we eat and how are bodies handle it.)

Missy & I 4 years ago:

Missy & I last month:

Going vegan has done a body good!

Anyway, I digress. This is a food blog, after all. :)

"Chicken" Salad
Prep time: 5 minutes

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
Black pepper, to taste (I used TONS)

1. Mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until there's just a few big pieces left. Add the other ingredients, mix, and enjoy thoroughly. Which you will. :)

Here's your nutritional value for REAL chicken salad (as seen here):

...and here's the value for THIS "chicken" salad:

Look at that protein and fiber! AND IT'S DELICIOUS, PEOPLE!!!
Cody gobbled this stuff up.

I don't know why you're still reading this. You should be at the store or going through your fridge, figuring out if you can make this. :)