Podcast 15 – Talking Treehouse Bakery with Cori and Amanda

300-DS-Podcast-TreehouseAfter talking with Tracy on the Strawberry Hedgehog episode she highly recommended that I get in touch with Cori and Amanda at Treehouse bakery. Tracy is a big fan of theirs since she is vegan but also because they make really good baked goods and on top of that are really nice people.

We talk about growing up in Phoenix and then getting going with their vegan bakery in downtown Phoenix. We cover Grand Ave, creating the best cupcake icing in the land, the Pie Social, customers, turning down Cupcake Wars, taking special orders, taking donation requests, and more. You should take an hour and have a listen to how a local business gets things done in Phoenix.

Link Love:
Treehouse Bakery Phoenix AZ
Pie Social – Nov 16th 2013

Podcast #5 – Zoe Von Diether – Vegan Bake Sale in Phoenix

DS-Podcast5-Image-300Moving along into the 5th episode of the DesertStandard podcast we have an interview with the one and only Zoe Von Diether. She joins us to discuss growing two events that she is hosting in October. Have a listen to learn more about Zoe, growing up in Phoenix, why she loves working out in the gym, and her passion for vegan bake sales, saving pigs, working with Autism Speaks, and being awesome.

Show Notes:
Vegan Bake Sale in Phoenix for Autism Speaks
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/events/154774608060747/
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Time-11:00am until 5:00pm
Hosted at 11th Monk3y Apparel and Designs
1022 W Grand Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Zoe needs Vegan Bakers. So if you can bake something tasty that is also vegan then you should go to the event Facebook page and contact her.

Also if you have a band that can play to the G level then she wants you to play for as long as you want.

Grand Avenue Festival happening on Oct 19th
-They need a website update for 2013 event
-Here is 2012 webpage http://grandavephoenix.com/grand-avenue-festival/

IronWood Pig Sanctuary Pumpkin and Blanket Drive – Pigs in a Blanket
-Pumpkin and Blanket Drive – Oct 19th at 11th Monkey
-Looking for employees, need to live in the area, or be down with camping in area and want you to be vegetarian
-Hard work, working on the farm
-Looking for bands

Autism Speaks Walk
Looking for bands

Vegan Pot Luck Dinner

Kate and I hosted a Vegan Pot Luck dinner at our home last night and had an absolute blast. When the final headcount came in we had 14 people including ourselves and that was a pretty good number.

Everyone brought an amazing dish and no one went home hungry. Recipes and tips were shared and drinks were drunk. Next time I need to be more deligent about getting shots of each dish before we eat them…

We will be posting up our recipes shortly for the McChickpea Nuggets, Kale Slaw, and Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.

Good Morning Smoothie

I drink this or a slight variation every morning. Sometimes I take the Vitamix on vacation so I can keep getting my fix.

Good Morning Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 carrot washed and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks washed chopped
  • 1 banana peeled and broken up
  • 1/2 orange washed and chopped with rind
  • 3 dates seeded
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon ginger unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Put everything except for the seeds into the Vitamix blender. Turn on on Variable speed at 1 and quickly turn up to 10 and throw it into High speed. After everything is mixing together pop the opening in the lid and add the seeds. Let mix for another 20 seconds. Pour into cup. Enjoy.

For variety you can add some avocado or tofu.

The last I checked this recipe on a calorie counter it was around 400 to 500 calories with a great breakdown of protein, carbs, fat, and various nutrients that you need to get daily.

Moroccan five spice cous cous salad

When my wife and I were first dating I pulled no punches and made sure to cook all my best dishes in the hopes she would overlook my other flaws. One of them was this Moroccan Five Spice Cous Cous Salad that I found in Vegan Planet
years before. This recipe is really quick and easy to make but it creates amazing flavor and is pretty much always results in a number of requests for the recipe when we bring it to parties. She generally requires that I make it once a month.

  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 ½ cups instant couscous
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 3 T orange juice
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • salt
  • 1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 2 T minced fresh cilantro for garnish
  1. 2 T chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts for garnish

  2. Heat 1 T of peanut oil in a medium-size saucepan over meadium heat. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, cayenne, and couscous. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer couscous to a large serving bowl, using a fork to fluff it up. Set aside.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 T peanut oil, orange juice, brown sugar, and salt to taste. Stir to blend well and set aside. Add the golden raisins to this for 5 minutes to let them get nice and plump. Then add the dates and onions and let them soak for 20 minutes so they can collect more flavors# Heading.

  5. To the couscous, add the chickpeas. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine well. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts and serve.

Vegan enchiladas and happy time for all

Cooking vegan food is pretty simple you just make food with stuf that doesn’t have any animals bits in it. Once you grasp that concept the rest gets pretty easy. What you have to then decide is what favors and textures you want to have in your food. Since most of us started off with meals that contained meat our frame of reference gets in the way.

The solution is to create meals that mimic our favorite meat dishes. Today I had a craving for Mexican food and one dish I think of when Mexican food comes up is enchiladas. What is an enchilada is an important thing to understand when you are going to make them:

An enchilada ( /ˌɛntʃɨˈlɑːdə/, Spanish: [eɲtʃiˈlaða]) is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations.

(via Enchilada – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The next key is to find a good recipe and then make it your own:

Black bean and vegetable vegetarian enchiladas can be made in advance and frozen, so make plenty and set some aside for later. Try making your own enchilada sauce too for an even fresher taste.

(via Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas – Vegan Enchilada Recipe – Easy Vegetable Enchiladas – Vegetarian Mexican Enchiladas)

From this recipe I took a left turn and added some ingredients I thought would be a nice addition:

  • Half a yam diced to really small bits
  • 5 mushrooms chopped and sliced thin
  • Chipoltle vegan sausage

I also cut the amount of carrots in half and used some vegan cheese of a cheddar flavor for topping. I made the sauce myself with this simple recipe:

Try this recipe for a quick and easy homemade enchilada sauce recipe and make your own home made enchilada sauce.

(via Enchilada Sauce Recipe – Quick and Easy Mexican Enchilada Sauce – Vegetarian Vegan Enchilada Sauce – Easy Mexican Recipe – Quick Mexican Food Recipe)

In addition I added a salad:

Black beans and mangoes combine with fresh bell pepper and fresh cilantro in this simple vegetarian, vegan, high-protein and gluten-free bean salad recipe.

(via Black Bean and Mango Salad Recipe – Easy Vegetarian Bean Salad Recipe – Black Bean Salad – Vegan Recipes)

I forgot the tortillas for the enchiladas at the store so Kate had to make a last second run for some more. While we waited for them to bake we ate the salad and had some wine.

I also made up some Mexican rice:

Mexican rice is a traditional Mexican food dish that is very easy to prepare. First, the rice is lightly toasted with garlic, onions and other spices, then slowly simmered with tomatoes.

(via Easy Mexican Rice Recipe – Vegetarian Mexican Rice Recipe – Vegan Mexican Food Recipe)

Kate was a big fan.

Of course you always find the better recipe to base your meal off of after you have made what you are eating:

Vegan Enchiladas! Recipe

(via Vegan Enchiladas! Recipe – Calorie Count)

I definitely suggest cooking the veggies before mixing with the sauce and then filling the tortillas. I also like this recipes method of drenching the tortillas in the sauce before filling them. This will make everything super moist and happy. We will be traveling to the east coast next week and will test out the updated methods there.

Eating healthy is hard

Calories in 13" Flour Tortilla.

So I am trying to lose some weight and tracking what I eat with Calorie Count over at about.com. Its not perfect but its pretty good and easy to use. One thing that is nice is it has a lot of restaurant food items in its database. There is a Chipotle near my office so I eat there occasionally as I can see what is going into my food and then enter it into Calorie Count pretty easy.

Well I though that things were going well today with a healthy breakfast and upcoming dinner. After entering all of those Items I saw that I still had about 1000 calories to go for my 2000 calorie daily target. So instead of getting the Bowl I opted for the tortilla thinking I would come in well below the radar. OOOOPSIE!

Turns out the Tortilla at Chipotle is 330 calories with 860 mg of sodium. So my lunch went from 500 calories to 830 and my daily sodium is way over. Goddamit!

Where’s the beef? 2012(Update)

The flaw in the report is that it treats American consumers as passive actors who are victims of diminishing supplies, rising costs and government bias against the meat industry. Nowhere does it mention that we’re eating less meat because we want to eat less meat.

via Were Eating Less Meat. Why? – NYTimes.com.

Interesting article on American’s trend of eating less meat. I can attest that Kate and I are eating less meat mainly from a weight loss perspective, but the economics are impossible to ignore. Add to it the fact that meat is heavily subsidized and uses up a lot of oil to move around and our house is easily following this trend.

Best of all is that Kate has really jumped on board with things and is making some amazing recipes. Check out these books:

[UPDATE] – Kate has chimed in with the following:

I BEGAN eating less meat mainly from a weight loss perspective.

I CONTINUE to eat less meat due to aforementioned reasons.

Slow Cooking with Crock Pot some General Halfacat’s Chicken

General Halfacat's Chicken
General Halfacat's Chicken
General Halfacat's Chicken

Getting it on till the break of dawn

So we have a new crack tasty recipe that will be getting a lot of rotation on the homefront: General Halfacat’s Chicken. It’s a blantant rip off of this recipe from famed and noted blogger

STEPHANIE O’DEA My name is Stephanie and I have an unnatural obsession with my slow cooker’s Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

. I’m okay with this because I took the Garlic called for (4 garlic cloves, minced) and increased it X6 by taking the jar of pre minced Garlic and turned it upside down. This allowed me to create an armor coating of garlic all over the Chicken. In essence preparing the carcased warrior one last battle for dignity by becoming my delicious dinner.


If you clicked on the link to the fancy Blogspot™ website above you saw her recipe. I basically took that as my framework and kicked it in the balls:

  • 1.5 Cups of Garlic minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of Ginger dried
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Sprouts has good stuff for cheap, get the big bottle)
  • 2 teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 Chicken (Frys had em for $0.67 per pound, thats quality)
  • 1 Frozen Bag of Veggies (Stir fry veggies is a racist thing to say)

Mix up the first 5 ingredients above (thats why I wrote them in that order, more recipes should follow this standard) in a mixing bowl. Take the Chicken out of the plastic and rinse it out. Its a corpse so there is shit on it that you don’t wanna feel slithering down your throat while you fake a smile at your spouse. Put the Chicken in the mixing bowl and make it happy with the special Garlic happy sauce you made in the first sentence of this paragraph. Now place the Chicken into your Crock Pot/Slow Cooker/Crack Maker and pour the remaining happy sauce onto the Chicken. Place the lid on the cooker, set it to low and leave it alone for 5 hours. Add the veggies and kick that shit up to high for 1 more hour. Let sit for a bit, peel the meat of the bones, add to quinoa or something and the veggies and try not to eat it all by yourself. There should be 6 to 8 meals there and for stoners 4.

Kate and I managed to take two dinners to eat it all but the temptation was there to eat everything the first night.

Hanover Coffee is out of Costa Rica but has new stuff

Fresh Roasted Coffee now in Blends
Fresh Roasted Coffee now in Blends
My pal Greg over at Hanover Coffee has published a new post on his amazing website. Seriously whoever set that up should have been paid at least $5. Anyway it seems that he is out of the Costa Rica coffee beans that have been the rave for a while. Personally I like the Sulawesi(I think thats the one and I think thats how its spelt.)

He also announced that Hanover has two new coffee blends: The Hanover Blend and Hanover Dark. Apparently these are some shit hot coffee blends so you better order before I get all of it!

Starting next week you can get this delivered to wherever you might be. So go ahead and get some!