livin' vegan in sunny atlanta

Tag Archives: sweet potato souffle

Heya, this is part two of my giant January catch-up post. Get started with Part One here – especially if you like cats. There are so many cat pictures.

Monday January 13

I woke up early to make a delicious chana masala before heading down to AmericasMart. I recommend the Post Punk Kitchen recipe. It’s the one I’ve used for years with only minor variations.

Adding the tamarind.

My not-so-secret ingredient: a giant dollop of pure organic coconut cream. A fistful of cilantro to finish, a pile of basmati rice, and you’ve got yourself a meal.

That night we met up at a Joystick, a classic arcade/bar, to remember Aaron Swartz. After a long conversation about internet activism and data liberation, we distracted ourselves from sorrow – and celebrated Aaron’s incredibly inspirational life – with X-Men and Mrs. Pac-Man. You gave us so much, Aaron – we only hope you knew how deeply loved and admired you were while you were with us. You continue to inspire.

If you haven’t already signed the petition to remove those responsible for pushing the case much, much further than it needed to go, it’s still a good idea. The best place to keep up with the fair use and transparency issues that Swartz championed is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I’m also fond of the Free Software Foundation.

Wednesday January 16 – Sunday January 27

Everything changed. My poor sweetheart had surgery on Wednesday to correct his deviated septum and reduce the turbinates. It was really, really hard on him, but I stayed by his side and gave him medicine every four hours and helped him however possible. I was grateful that Margie was flexible with my hours, because I really didn’t want to leave his side.

I took one picture of him while he was laid up in the bed recovering, but it’s so pitiful it breaks my heart to look at it – so of course I’m not sharing it here! I will, however, show his first solid foods:

Sunday supper: barbeque tofu and sweet potato souffle.

He was also thrilled when I made use of the bevy of Veggie Hubby greens in a variation of Bryant Terry’s gumbo zav, or gumbo z’herbes, from The Inspired Vegan.

In progress: local organic cabbage, kohlrabi greens, kale, collards, and parsley.

Served with sweet potato biscuits.

As much as my food helped revive his spirits, I’m pretty sure the most helpful thing was all the Star Trek: The Next Generation we watched. We were both completely new to the series (and Star Trek in general), so this was the perfect time to dive in. WE ARE OBSESSED.

Monday January 28

At long last, my sweet started feeling better! I made a special breakfast:

scramble over pea shoots with salsa and avocado

We celebrated at Joystick with drinks and games and a joyous reunion. Everyone was so excited to see Nate again, not least of all, Brit:

My favorite part of the night was ambushing our friends at Mrs. Pac-Man and shoving in quarters so they had to keep playing. Y’all, there’s no more stressful game than Mrs. Pac-Man. I loved seeing ’em sweat!!

Tuesday January 29

A good day is one that begins with a flock of red-winged blackbirds.

Unseasonably warm weather permitted us to open the windows for our little sweets. They can’t resist an open window. Housework is always easier with a fresh breeze, so I got all caught up.

That night we headed over to our pal Christin’s for the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Five. Have you seen the amazing Look Book that she made for me? It is the bestest! I love it so much that I CRIED when she gave it to me. I know I shared a few pictures in a previous entry, but if you click the link you can see the whole book. You should also check out her fantastic Episode One: RuPaullywood or Bust re-cap (if you’ve seen the episode ALREADY, of course!).

My favorite performer is by far Seattle’s Premier Jewish Narcoleptic Drag Queen, Jinkx Monsoon! I also have a teensy crush on the crazy Alyssa. And who doesn’t love Detox and Alaska? Still, my favorite to win is the absolutely gorgeous Lineysha Sparx. It’s time for a Puerto Rican queen to take home the 100,000. It’s just time.

Wednesday January 30

Wednesday started much earlier than usual with a trip up to Mt. Arabia to help one of my favorite folks with an art project. He made a call on Facebook a day or so prior for helpers and my taste for adventure overrode the fact that it was a before-dawn assignment. Once there, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to spend a Wednesday morning. The air was still a bit warm from the stormfront moving in, but the rain stayed at bay most of the time we were there. I was mostly there to schlep props up and down the mountain, but I still had a really lovely time. The photographer Andre was outstanding and such a pleasure to interact with. Here are a couple of his shots:

Lavonia Elberton by Andre Keichian

If you were there, you would have seen me just out of the frame, assisting with the fabric. Let’s be real here, though – the wind did most of the work.

I was a bit tired for Vegetable Husband deliveries but they went fine, despite the fact that the city was under a Tornado Watch through 8pm. :) I made it home by 4:30pm and got to work on a special dinner for Nate. We still celebrate our dating anniversaries monthly on the 30th. He always draws something for me and I almost always make him dinner from scratch (unless we go out).

I made tempeh crab cakes (crabfakes) served over local organic pea shoots with a spicy remoulade:

They were accompanied by a gingery coconut-pumpkin soup and the creamiest ever scalloped potatoes with kohlrabi. Sorry, no pictures of the potatoes.

All three recipes were heavily modified versions of Alicia Simpson’s in Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations. The scalloped potatoes needed about 5 times longer to cook than she called for, though… and the crabfakes needed a fair bit of jazzing up with spices, tamari, and vinegar to suit my taste.

Thursday January 31

The last day of a pretty good start to 2013. Though I lost track of my resolutions while Nate was sick, I had a good time, surrounded myself with kind people, and cooked great food.

You know, like vegan chick’n and waffles:


Browned on both sides. Tongs are your friend.
Southern fried if I’ve ever seen it!
Homemade savory waffle getting the maple-mustard-mayo treatment.
One? Two? Three. This big guy’s for Nate, my skinny fella with the giant appetite!

With a sliced heirloom tomato and some organic lettuce, what else could you desire?
Only a fool (me) tries to bite this beast. This is a sandwich for a knife and fork!
My lovely one enjoys his new favorite thing.

Big thanks to to Bianca Phillips of VeganCrunk for sharing these amazing recipes in her new book Cookin’ Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South! If you love Southern food, veganized, and don’t already have Cookin’ Crunk, you must get it immediately! She has all kinds of recipes for your favorites, like Memphis-style BBQ sauce, brown-sugar baked tofu ham in redeye gravy, no-tell Ro-tel cheese dip, pimiento cheese sandwiches, devilled egg bites, spicy seitan hot wangs, and more. You might also enjoy following her daily eats at

Hooray for January… now let’s all hope I don’t wait another month to share about February’s adventures!

hey folks! Nate & I are celebrating our three year anniversary with a little getaway, but before I tell you all about that I want to share the Thanksgiving magic!

You probably already know that instead of offering a meal delivery Thanksgiving week, I made up a special a la carte casserole menu. I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday prepping and cooking orders. Here are a few shots of some of the food that went out:

Cutting and dusting marshmallows for sweet potato souffles. They were created with Angel Food Alice’s marshmallow mix. It’s the least-tricky way to make marshmallows that still requires a fair amount of care, and I recommend you buy several packs immediately.

Emanuella’s nut-free souffle.

My first attempt at a seitan-based tofurkey came out looking beautiful but with the texture of an old shoe. Dousing cut pieces with a little water and reheating in the microwave under a damp paper towel restored some moisture – steaming would have worked, too. Unwilling to serve this to paying company, I tried another recipe with resounding success. Behold, the log:

Stuffed with fat-free stuffing (per Brett’s family request), steamed and baked, VeganDad’s recipe is a solid one. If you try it, though, be sure to modify the seasonings – his recipe is very mild. I modified the recipe to become no-added-fat by substituting two tablespoons of mushroom stock for the oil.

Local pot-roasted vegetables for Lillian.

Fancy-schmancy “goat”-style log for ever-classy Brett’s family. Would you believe this little fella took over 24 hours? I wrapped it up in parchment and secured it with pretty brown ribbon, repurposed from a delicious box of Lagusta’s Luscious bonbons.

A yukon-gold-topped shepherd’s pie for Shannon.

and desserts: sweet potato cake studded and topped with roasted chestnut and miso caramel; “sweet potato souffle” – sweet potato cake with chestnut pieces and topped with homemade marshmallow. I also made several dozen mini chocolate kandaicakes.

Pecan-topped sweet potato souffle, with some of my kitchen staff looking on.

Lillian was thrilled to pick up her giant order! I love cooking for Lillian because she adores even my mistakes. Case in point: I had to ditch a pan of sweet potato cakes when they wouldn’t release. I mashed ’em up, layered ’em with miso caramel, called it a trifle, and gave it to Lillian. She was so pleased!

I am so grateful to everyone who picked up Thanksgiving food this year. Not only did the sales make my three-year anniversary trip with Nate possible, but it was just such an honor to be invited into your homes at such an important meal and special time of year. Seriously, I still get goosebumps thinking about how awesome that is. I hope it lived up to your expectations!

After a few extra-long days, Nate and I were happy to sit down to our own Thanksgiving eve feast.

The seitan shoe with creamy mashed potatoes.

Carr’s wheat crackers with spreadable “brie” in the background.

My momma’s (and Nate’s) favorite butterbeans.

Our gorgeous sweet potato souffle.

Closer, m’dear…

Our green bean casserole. Thanks, Trader Joe’s, for frying the onions so that I didn’t have to saturate every inch of fabric in my apartment with the smell of fried onions.

Nate’s abundant plate! From the top: Carr’s crackers with brie, mashed potatoes, sweet poatto souffle, cranberry hunk, butterbeans, green bean casserole, dressing, and the seitan shoe.

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving day was finally getting to meet my little niece Bear. I like this picture because it looks like Nate & Bear are sharing a laugh.

Little Bear puppy face.

A fun picture of my brother, Bear, and me.

Y’all know I’m a crazy cat lady, but Thanksgiving turned out to be a puppy day. Later, at my Uncle Reuben’s, I held his partner’s little chihuahua. Until then, I had never so much as touched such a small dog… hence the face.

She was fun to cuddle.

How you know it’s love: after a long day of cookin’, cleanin’, and family visitin’, I returned to Atlanta to make Nate’s childhood favorite, creamed onions. Y’all: creamed onions is not a southern thing. We do not boil pearl onions, smother them in gravy, and then serve them as a holiday side. Twas a mystery to me when Nate mentioned them. So I did a little internet searchin’ and decided on an amalgam of a few recipes. The cream sauce is just a gravy made with earth balance, flour, and a whole lot of mimiccreme – then thinned out and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of freshly-shaved nutmeg. Not bad for a first try!