Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vegan MoFo Days 15 & 16: Out Sick! And Just Plain Out

No post yesterday-- I'd meant to do one in the evening but ended puking my guts out for like two hours instead, so I went to bed really early. No idea why I got so sick... I didn't eat anything particularly weird and didn't drink any booze. Must have been watching John McCain for an hour and a half. (Oh snap!) Anyway, I feel fine today.

What I would've posted if I'd been in any position to do so last night: I made debate themed-food. Okay, one debate themed food item. I made an American flag out of red, white, and blue tortilla chips. Awesome! Delicious! The red ones were jalapeno flavored, the white (actually yellow) ones were "buffalo" flavored (vegan though!), and the blue ones were just normal ol' blue corn chips. Tortilla chips are way too big to make stripes for the flag out of, though... I ended up only having five stripes as opposed to the traditional 13. And uh, no stars, of course. My husband still thought it was hilarious, though, and said it was one of those "sports wives things."

We ate the chips along with three homemade scoopable foods: guacamole, cheezy fake meat crumbles, and spicy black beans. All tasty! I'll post the recipe for the black beans at the end, because they were my favorite part (and everyone reading this probably knows how to make guacamole).

Tonight, we're going out. Jeez! My third social call in a week! And I'm probably going out tomorrow night too. It's nice to see people, but my introvert side is starting to want a break... aaand the huge pile of academic work that needs to get done is screaming at me too. So, probably a mellow and homework filled weekend up ahead.

Introversion and academia aside, I'm very excited to be going out tonight, because we're going with a big group of Josh's co-workers to one of my faaaavorite Santa Cruz restaurants: Malabar Cafe. Malabar used to be Malabar at night and Asian Rose by day, but as far as we can tell, it's all Malabar all the time now. That's okay, because I love Malabar to little itty bitty pieces. Everything on the menu is either vegetarian or vegan, with most of it being vegan! And the food is GOOD! They just classify themselves as "asian fusion", but I think most of their dishes come from the triangle of deliciousness that is India-Sri Lanka-Malaysia. Oh asian countries, why are you so good at food?

I digress! Malabar is yummy. So yummy! Almost every time I've been there, I've had the tempeh goreng, which is really good and perfectly seasoned. (Also, I hate tempeh about 50% of the time, so these guys are really doing something right here.) Everything else is good too, though! And if you go on Sundays, they have four course vegan dinners where you pay what you want to at the end of the meal. I keep meaning to get there, but haven't yet.

The restaurant's a little small and cramped, the prices are a bit high (though not for Santa Cruz) and the service varies a bit, but I like the food enough that I'm absolutely delighted to be going there tonight.

After eating at Malabar, the group will probably mosey over to the Poet and the Patriot to drink beers and stuff. I've never been to the Poet, so I've got no idea what to expect in terms of veganness. But a lot of people I know really like it, so I'm hopeful.

So: that's my food life right now! Woot!

[b]Spicy black beans of laziness[/b]
serves 2

2 tsps olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder, if you like stuff less salty)
2 tsps cayenne powder
2 tsps cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/2 bottle beer

1. Heat the olive oil in the pan over medium-low.
2. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until shallots are soft.
3. Now add all of the spices to the shallots and stir everything together. Let the spices cook together with the shallots for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the black beans, the cilantro, and the beer, and mix well.
5. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook until most of the beer has cooked off, about 7 minutes.

Next time I might add just a couple of drops of liquid smoke. I really liked this as is, but it wasn't so compelling that I needed to eat the entire bowl of it.


sophia said...

hey! i posted on ppk about having a santa cruz one else responded but if you still want to meet up at some point, i'm down.

i just moved here - my boyfriend's a physics grad student - and we're trying to get to know more folks. i've been wanting to try the malabar sunday thing too, maybe we could hit that up sometime.

hope you feel better!

Bethany said...

malabar sounds really great.

the chip flag is a cool idea.