Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

Moron Proof Brown Rice + Upcoming Giveaway Information

Before I talk about this miracle of brown rice cooking, let me tell you that something exciting  happening on 4/19.

1. My 1 year Blog and Veganniversary.

2. My very first Giveaway.  No, not telling what it is.  You will just have to come back and enter.  But I will give you a hint, if nerd and geek blood runs through your veins, you will approve.

It’s a surpriiiiiise.

Be sure to follow my blog to be sure you don’t miss the big day!

Ahem, moving on.

So lets talk rice. Brown rice, specifically.

It takes forever, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably ruined batches upon batches of it.   If you haven’t ruined more brown rice than you care to admit, this post probably isn’t for you (except for the fact that you need to know to come back on 4/19 for a giveaway).  If, however, you end up with one batch of brown rice still hard and burning, another batch mushy-broken grains with tons of water leftover, etc… then you NEED to try this.

Cause let me tell you, if you can cook pasta – you can make this.  If you CANNOT cook pasta, then there is no hope for you.  Order pizza.

So – pasta.  Boil water, add pasta, cook, strain – there are only a few minor differences when it comes to cooking brown rice, which you will see below.   I’m so thrilled about this method of cooking brown rice that I cooked it two days in a row, just because.  Of course I froze most of it, but there’s that rice all ready and waiting for us when I want it.

Rinse the rice well.

I mean it!  Rinse it like the dirty, dirty rice it is!

Dump the rice into a pot of boiling water.  No, you don't need to measure the water out - but like pasta, have a lot of it.

Return to a boil, then cover - reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes are up, strain and shake out the excess water.

Dump it back into the pot, cover it and take it off the heat.  Let it sit for 10 minutes - the remaining heat and moisture steams the rice, finishing it off.

Yum!!  All set.  What you end up with is perfectly cooked, fluffy yet chewy grains of rice.   I've tried this twice now to be sure it wasn't just a fluke, but sure enough, they came out perfectly the second time as well.

Now for an added bonus - here's how to freeze it.

For 2 servings at a time, line a sandwich sized container with plastic wrap and pack down some rice into it.
Obviously use a larger container and larger bags for more servings.

Fold it over nice and tight.
(Did I mention to come back on 4/19?)

See?  Nice and tidy.  Now toss it into the freezer as is.

When it's frozen, shove it into a plastic baggy of your choice and freeze for up to 6 months.

To re-heat, unwrap and place in a microwave safe dish with a lid.  Sprinkle about 1 tsp of water for every cup of rice.
Heat at 50% power for 1 minute, fluff with a fork and repeat as needed until rice is desired temperature.

Oh, by the way - don't forget to come check back on 4/19.


Preparing Brussels Sprouts

A few days ago I made DIJON BRAISED BRUSSELS SPROUTS.  And they were awesome, but the prep that are required for Brussels sprouts makes me wonder if they are worth it or if I’m just trying to find an excuse to give up on them altogether. 😉

Here’s a how to, in pictures – whether you’re braising or roasting. 

Seriously though, this isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming when you’ve got a pound or two of these guys.  Even still, I didn’t buy Brussels sprouts for the longest time because I thought they were all bad.

Nobody ever accused me of being the brightest crayon in the box.

Brussels SproutsBrussels SproutsBrussels SproutsBrussels SproutsBrussels Sprouts


Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

 Pfft.  And you I thought it was going to be hard. 😛

Preparing Sugar Snap Peas

The first time I cooked fresh sugar snap peas, they were gross.   I hadn’t removed the ends, or the fibrous string – and didn’t really know there was one until I was trying to chew through one.

Sugar Snap Peas


I’m sure everyone already knows, but in case you don’t…

Cut off the damn ends.  But hold them as you cut off the ends, if you find a little resistance, it’s probably this little bugger:

Sugar Snap Pea


Not all of them will have this, but if you run across one that has it, pull it out.  The whole thing might not come out, but that’s ok, just remove what comes off easily.

Some will just be entirely woody and fibrous as you try to cut them.  I can’t stand them, so I toss em.   I’m not sure what causes it, but I’m open to information if anyone knows why some of the sugar snap peas are woody and tough.

Come back soon to see what I made with these yummy guys.

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Making a Roux

I’ll soon be posting the recipe for my husband’s favorite recipe, but in preparation, I thought I’d make a post about the base of the recipe – a Roux.


When I became a vegan I was a bit concerned that it wouldn’t work quite the same, but to my pleasant surprise, it works just fine.  So lets get started!

Roux’s have 3 basic ingredients – fat (I use Earth Balance), flour and liquid – generally milk.   This particular roux is being made for a soup, so the end result is approx 1 tablespoon of fat,  and 1 tablespoon of flour per cup of liquid.

For the best results start with warmed non-dairy milk.  I usually use soy milk.  If you use almond or rice milk, you may need to increase the butter/flour ratio.

1. Warm the milk in the microwave for a few minutes, just enough to take the chill off (skip this step if you’re using room temperature milk).

2. Meanwhile, melt butter on medium heat into pan and whisk in flour.  It should make a dry paste.

Melt the butter and whisk in flour

3.  Add in milk slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time.    Each time whisk slowly until mix becomes thick.

Whisk in milk slowly

4. Continue whisking in milk slowly, letting it thicken.  At this point it should feel like a thick batter.

Keep adding!

5. As you add the milk, you may need to cook for a few minutes to allow the mix to thicken.


6. Try to keep the consistence of a cake batter as much as possible.


By the time you’re done, you’ve mixed in all the milk, you should still be able to cut through the sauce.  If it’s not a cake batter consistency, continue cooking on a medium-low, whisking occasionally, giving the liquid time to thicken.

Come back in the next few days to get my husbands favorite soup recipe!

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Randomness that turned to Awesomeness

Hello all it is I the hubby once again. I tried as hard as i could to get out of this, knowing well that i am just bothering y’all with my random prattling. And poor grammar skills, i am pretty sure there should have been a semicolon in the last sentence somewhere.

So this post is about an idea i had. Izzy and i are what you might call semi-busy. Well that or incredibly lazy, so one find Saturday afternoon as we perused the Veganomicon i had my wild idea. What is this wild idea you may ask? And why is it that i go on and on about the wildness of the idea without revealing anything about it? mostly because i am a jerk that likes to yank y’alls chain.

My ground breaking idea was ….. to bag the dry ingredients of our favorite recipes. So the whole idea is to get quart sized zipper bags that have that writey on thingy on them. you know what i am talking about. you fill said bag with your fav vegan recipes  dry team (stoled that from alton brown) and you then write what is in the bag along with what is needed to finish the recipe.  So that way on a lazy or busy day you just grab the premixed bag of dry goods read the label grab the wet goods mix and then cook and some junk and you’re done.

I know your minds are all totally blown right now, have a great day!

Note from Izzy: Please re-use your bags!

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