Posts Tagged ‘Vegan’

Review: Elizabeth’s Gone Raw-some!

July 18, 2011

We’ve had a long haiatus here at Matzo and Rice. To kick off a (hopeful) return to posting glory, we have a guest post from one of my friends. Caroline, a long-time vegetarian, provides her R-awesome review of Elizabeth’s Gone Raw!

Caroline: When I first became a vegetarian almost 23 years ago, vegetarians were lucky if a restaurant had a Garden burger on the menu. Nowadays, not only do many places serve their own veggie burgers, but DC has a high-end restaurant serving raw vegan food. I am not a vegan in daily practice, and I am not interested in the raw food diet craze, but I do love to eat vegan whenever I can. And an upscale vegan dining experience? Where do I sign up?!?  The answer, of course, is Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. (Review, pictures, and the word “hooha” after the bump!)

An example of the delights at EGR. (C) Elizabeth's Gone Raw Website




August 26, 2009

I’m often amazed at the vast number of foods and dishes I have never ever tried or tasted until recently, and I’ve eaten my fair share of “unusual” foods (bird’s nest soup, jellied eels, thousand year old duck eggs, and haggis). I page through my cooking magazines, and I can almost see the thought bubble appearing over my head that spells out “W-T-F”? But W-T-F in a good way. As in, “O-M-G, I must try this, though first thing first–what the heck is a xuxu, and where can I find it?” Like that. (By the way? Xuxu is the Brazilian name for the chayote, which still makes me ask the question, what is a chayote?)


Tabbouleh: Now with more decorative lettuce!

But this post isn’t about xuxus or chayotes or whatever you want to call them. It’s about tabbouleh.

The first time I had tabbouleh was about three months ago. At a clothes swap party my friend was hosting, including amongst the delicious spread of food was a container of store-bought tabbouleh. “It looks like salsa,” I said, “Middle Eastern salsa.” And yes, that is incredibly reductive, so to be less reductive, more specifically, it is a Levantine Arab salad mad primarily with parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat. It is also an awesome word to say, like “marsupial” or “onomatopoeia.” And it’s also delicious, but I say that pretty much about every single dish I blog about here, because why would I blog about something that was a epic disaster?


Spicy Tofu and Pepper Stir-fry

May 19, 2009

I have to give my boyfriend loads of credit for making me a healthier eater. If not for him, I would probably not think about my calorie content as much. I wouldn’t make as conscientious an effort to eat vegetarian. If it happened, it would probably be by happenstance. For instance, as I write this, I am eating a Chipotle steak burrito bowl. I am tempted to eat the whole thing, but I’m distracted by my Twix bar and a bag of sour cream and onion chips. Granted, I don’t eat like this every day, but I don’t like to deny myself, but I also wasn’t the type to want to expand my cooking repertoire to involve a lot of vegetarian dishes simply because they were vegetarian.

Healthy and quick: thats two wins in my book!

Healthy and quick: that's two wins in my book!

This spicy tofu and pepper dish is a relatively easy stirfry, and it’s a fast one, too. I like my food just a little spicy, but if you really like it spicy, add more Sriracha to taste, but that stuff is hot, so be careful! If you want to temper the hotness, you can also try adding in some red pepper flakes.

I know there’s some sort of general wisdom out there that tofu can be gross or tasteless, but it’s all about prepping the tofu to give it flavor, to provide it the best possible texture. This recipe has both. The marinating gives the tofu a deeper flavor. The slight pan frying firms it up and gives it a nice texture that’s not at all slimy or unappetizing. Top it off with a sauce and vegetables, and it’s good times for everyone. Even for carnivores and omnivores like myself.


Late Summer Tomato Soup

January 13, 2009

I love a good summer soup. I realize, this is a bit mistimed, but a good recipe can’t wait. This Epicurious recipe is best made in season, but push comes to shove, you can do this mostly frozen and off peak. I originally made this at the end of the summer, when La Grande Supermercado had Roma tomatoes for 49 cents per pound. Yes, you read that correctly.  We were eating them like apples.

I’m a notorious substituter, so my notes are below. If you want the real recipe, filled with Romano and fava beans, large tomatoes, parsley, and fresh squid, please visit the original recipe. I only had canned squid, which is a very poor substitution. Frankly, this made an amazing vegetarian soup and would go beautifully with or without fresh squid.


Matzo’s Birthday Brunch Spectacular

January 3, 2009

Rice: A few Sundays ago, Matzo celebrated her 28th birthday in brunchtacular style. A potluck-style brunch, guests brought their dishes to share. I brought a vegetarian quiche and some biscuits and gravy, the remnants of which you can see in the next picture.

Hunger aftermath!

The brunch spread: Hunger aftermath!

Crunchy apples for all!


Okra Potato Curry

November 30, 2008

Okra was always this weird veggie that we didn’t get a lot growing up in Chicago. It’s not like we didn’t get it, we just didn’t use it much. My mom would put it in gumbo, but that’s about it. I always liked it, but thought it was just for certain types of food. I really got into it when I moved south of the Mason-Dixon line.

I adapted the Cookshelf: Indian recipe for Okra Curry for this recipe.  I like my additions better, but the original recipe is a little less intense. My adapted recipe is below.

Potato Okra Curry
1 lb Okra
1 lb Potatoes (I used red)
Hot curry powder, to taste (Original recipe called for 2 curry leaves only)
Sweet curry powder, to taste
Garam masala, to taste
2 medium onions, sliced
3 cayenne peppers (or hot pepper of your choosing), diced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 tbs lemon or lime juice
Fresh cilantro leaves (more…)

Tomato Lentil Curry Stew

November 12, 2008
Tomato Lentil Curry Stew

Tomato Lentil Curry Stew

In tough economic times, frugality often stretches into the kitchen. After a little shock and awe I experienced upon seeing what I had spent on groceries last month, I thought, hey, Rice, let’s reign in that credit card use! And let’s exercise some self-control! And so, my first thought was that it was time to really commit to making more vegetarian meals.

A bag of dried lentils inspired me to hunt for something legumey. A quick search of my favorite recipe site,, led to this recipe for Tomato-Lentil Curry Stew. A few adjustments here and there, due to what was available in my kitchen, and how hearty I wanted the stew, led me to make the following adjustments, and what resulted was a flavorful, thick, and healthy stew (only about 200 calories per serving) that went great with some homemade garlic-rosemary foccacia, which I will post about soon, I hope.


Final Harvest

October 10, 2008

This summer I decided to plant a bigger garden than last year. Previously, I had a pretty big herb garden, moderately successful peppers, and some failed tomatoes.  This year, I still had failed tomatoes, but there were successful peppers (9 different kinds!), eggplants, yellow squash, zucchini, onions, and, the ugliest plant of all, broccoli.

    This scrumptious jalapeno sacrificed its life for a yummy salsa.

This scrumptious jalapeno sacrificed its life for a yummy salsa.


Homemade Soft Pretzels

September 25, 2008

The time: Winter

The scene: The mall

The emotion: Hunger

The solution: A soft pretzel

A homemade twisted soft pretzel straight from the oven

A homemade twisted soft pretzel straight from the oven

Last March, while at the mall with my boyfriend, we stopped off and shared a soft pretzel at Wetzel’s pretzels after a movie. Especially in the cold, the pretzel was warm and delicious and divine. Immediately after we gobbled it down I wanted another. But one must at times, resist temptation…and then promptly return home and find a recipe to make them at home!

As usual, provided me with an answer, and bless Christa Rose, whoever she is, because her recipe is genius and since I’ve found it, I’ve become possibly the most popular person in my office. Just kidding–I’ve just become resident pretzel-maker.

The recipe is simple–but it does take some prep time and some patience–but oh it is so, so worth it if you love yourself some salty carbohydrates.


Burrito Party!

September 9, 2008

The Safeway by us isn’t in the greatest of areas. They still, however, get the same kinds of meats as “nicer” Safeways. Typically, this means we get our beef (usually NY strip), pork (usually chops), and lamb (varies) for 1/2 off. This week, along with 2 excellent looking NY Strip steaks, I picked up some very nice looking boneless short ribs for ridiculously cheap. Sounds like time for a Burrito Party!

Get ready for a party!

Get ready for a party!

I ended up doing this a little backwards. I first salted and peppered the short ribs and grilled them to get the grill flavor and those fun grill hash marks (I grilled to a step below rare). Then I marinated them for a few hours in a mixture I made up and pan cooked them to medium-rare. For the marinate, I kinda just splashed things in a 1-gallon sealable bag. I’ll do my best to estimate the proportions below.

Steak Marinade
Couple of tablespoons olive oil
1/2 c Orange Juice
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 c Tequila!
7-10 squirts of Worcestershire sauce
2 T of fresh herbs, loosely packed (way less if dried)
1/2 medium onion, sliced (with the grain/top to bottom, rather than crosswise)
3 garlic cloves, minced
hot peppers, chopped (to taste – I used 2 cayenne peppers)

Directions: Mix everything together! Add the beef (or meat of choice), give it a good smush around now and every few hours, and let it sit in the fridge for up to 24-hours.