Day 7 – True Vegan

Today’s vegan MoFo theme is “original vegan”, meaning a vegan meal that isn’t trying to be something else (like fake cheese or fake meats). The easiest, most satisfying and cheap vegan meals for me have always been stir frys or slow cooked curries. In fact, for just about the last three weekends in a row I’ve been extremely crock-pot inspired and made a different curry each time. 

Yesterday morning I swung by the Pearl City farmer’s market at Pearl Ridge mall. Pearl City is a on O’ahu, right on the northern tip of Pearl Harbor (hence the name) and about ten minutes northwest of Honolulu. Because we live in a tropical location, the fruit and vegetable selection is always unique. I picked up this crazy batch of jungle veggies, swung by the store for some pre-fried tofu from Aloha Tofu, and then returned home. 

Okra, green beans, kabocha, grape tomatoes!

Making a curry is so freaking easy, I swear. When I came home I popped these chopped veggies into the crock pot—make sure to put the thickest on the bottom, in this case the kabocha. And layered chunks of Japanese curry blocks throughout. If you don’t have pre-made curry blocks or sauce, you can put in whatever spices float your boat! Last, I chopped the fried tofu and laid it gently on top. Add 2-3 cups of water too, to make it saucy! After turning the knob to a slow cook, I let that sucka soak for five hours. You can cook it on high setting much faster too, but I had the time to spare until dinner. 

When you’re ready to eat, choose a base (rice, noodles, quinoa, etc) and spoon your curry out of the crock pot and into your bowl. We used quinoa because I like that extra protein for developing baby. Talk about a savory and healthy original vegan meal! I love our $10 crock pot. Hope you guys liked this easy idea. If you aren’t a chef at all, I promise you can do this recipe. It’s hard to mess up, good luck!

Vegan Cheese — Puss Free!


I’m a day late, but I have the perfect example(s) of amazing vegan cheeses and all the options you can make/buy. I’ll start with some interesting facts about cow/goat/animal cheeses first, though. I was vegetarian for about 11 years before going vegan, and the hardest transition for me was cutting out cheese. Sure, you may think it’s because of the taste cheese adds to many dishes, but actually it was because I had withdrawal-like symptoms from cutting out dairy. I can’t say I have any experience with illicit drugs, and certainly don’t understand how that type of withdrawal feels. But I had never before experienced these strange withdrawal-like symptoms in my life and after researching more was able to attribute it to my dairy “detox”. I learned that the protein in dairy (known as casein) contains opiates, and that when our bodies consume dairy, our brain releases dopamine.

‘These opiates attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and morphine attach to. They are not strong enough to get you arrested, but they are just strong enough to keep you coming back for more, even while your thighs are expanding before your very eyes.’ – Dr. Neal Barnard, author of The Cheese Trap

Casein (the milk protein) is also an ingredient in many snacks, chips, and “non-dairy” substitutes. Hint, if it’s labeled “non-dairy” but not “dairy free” or “vegan”… it’s probably made from some chemicalized verison of cow’s milk. I was waking up in the middle of the night, shaking and sweating, craving bags of cheetos, for days. I thought I was getting the flu, but then I was so angry when I realized that a food (advertised to be “healthy” for me) caused such ridiculous withdrawals. Nothing with results like that is healthy for you, and I felt like I had been tricked into consumption by the addictive properties. And don’t even get me started on the horrors of the dairy industry! I’ll save that for another time.

Back to vegan cheese; last night mi esposo and I went to our favorite local pizza place, What It Dough! You can check them out on Instagram @what_it_dough. The hand-craft all of their signature “cheeses” using ingredients like cashews, almonds, and white beans. Their creative cheeses and amazing dough recipe make these pizzas amazing. When I’m trying to introduce non-vegans to delicious vegan options, I count on places like this to kick ass… and show everyone how easy it is to make the switch…!!!

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Day 2: Vegan Junk Food!

One major difference from two years ago (for me at least) is my huge growing belly! It’s cute, feminine, and I love my new curves because they announce to the world that we are expecting a baby this year! I am in my third trimester as we speak. I eat all day, every day and have been able to maintain a healthy and safe pregnancy weight this entire time. In addition, my belly doesn’t have any stretch marks or even the dark brown line (yet) which I attribute to my plant based diet #yassss

Pregnant or not, I definitely love me some vegan junk food, which is today’s prompt for #VeganMoFo. I am a big sucker for vegan marshmallows, namely Dandies and anything by Sweet & SaraBREAK: If you didn’t hear, Sweet & Sara is going out of business! Major bad news, we will miss them so much and in a panic I ordered 8 of their s’mores immediately. RIP.


If you’re wondering why I am naming specific vegan-brand marshmallows, it’s because regular marshmallows ARE NOT VEGAN. One of the main ingredients is gelatin (AKA boiled animal bones and skin). It horrifies me to think that my first ten years of being meat-free, I did not know about gelatin and was cheerfully eating gelatin-containing products (srsly… it’s in a lot of stuff). Once I found out, I was disgusted. Sorry not sorry to any vegans/vegetarians who did not know already. You can’t find vegan marshmallows at any old grocery store, but you’ll be glad you went the extra mile to avoid this nasty ingredient.

One side effect of pregnancy has been my constant worry about vitamin and mineral intake. I have made a significant conscious effort to increase my all around wellness and nutrition because, well, it’s not all about me anymore now is it? And while fruits and vegetables remain a staple in my diet, I also added things like cereals, more protein-rich foods like seitan and vegan Ripple brand milk (ummm 8 g Protein, 32mg DHA omega-3 and 45% DV of Calcium!!!!).

In week 28 of pregnancy they gave me the horrible glucose test, which checks for gestational diabetes. Once everything came back okay, I told myself “dammit, I deserve something tasty for this!” and whipped up the easiest dessert I’ve ever made; rice krispies treats! The instructions were on the back of a bag of Dandies marshmallows, and it literally takes 3-5 minutes — voila!

  • 1 10oz bag of Dandies Marshmallows
  • 5 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan Margarine (we use Earth Balance)
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

The off-brand crispy rice cereal I happened to buy also has 50% DV of Iron per serving! That’s a big win for baby and mama. I love how these came out, and have even made two batches in two weeks so we can devour them.


Vegan MoFo ’17! 1: Reinventing the Veggie Option

Aloha and happy October!mofopeasclean

I’m Elly and together with my best bud Erin we bring you #WhiteChicksWithSpanishLastNames … It’s a mouthful, I know! We came up with this silly name for a blog two years ago when we attempted our first Vegan Month of Food (Vegan MoFo) and it stuck. Erin and I are both married to dreamy dudes who gave us new and exciting surnames to keep for life. Oh and we both have one cat son each — Weezy is mine, and PeeWee is Erin’s!

Day one of Vegan MoFo we were asked to ‘reinvent a veggie option’. I think the most often seen veggie option at most restaurants, which sometimes isn’t even vegan, is the veggie burger. Boring bun, dry old lettuce, a slice of tomato, and something eerily like a hamburger that you’re sure was cooked on the same grill as chicken, beef, and pork products. I quite dislike most restaurant veggie burgers!

I know Erin can make a mean beet burger from scratch (I’ve tried it!) but my expertise has always been Asian-style cooking. Instead of reinventing the veggie burger, I’d rather upgrade it! Vegan Banh Mi, baby!

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If you’ve never heard of banh mi (shame on you!), it’s the Vietnamese word for ‘bread’, and in the U.S. it’s served on a baguette with fresh vegetables and a sauce. The sandwich featured here was invented by America’s Test Kitchen — did you know they made a completely vegan cookbook? It’s the bomb, check it out.

Anyways, this sandwich is made from a fried tofu, fresh cucumbers, cilantro (a MUST), shredded carrots, and vegan mayo mixed with sriracha! Talk about upstaging that boring veggie burger, this sandwich has that awesome Vietnamese style taste, plus fried tofu — two of my favorite things.

Aloha Hawaii! Vegan Mochi Recipe

I have been drooling over the various mochi here in Honolulu, from the dango (round) shaped mochi to cake-like mochi slices, they really have it all here! Many mochi are made with condensed milk or other dairy but for this recipe I made it completely cruelty free/plant based!

Hold onto your 靴下 (socks)! Since I’ve never made mochi before, I based this recipe off of one from the Vibrant Wellness Journal. Hers has bananas and berries but I flavored mine with cocoa powder and matcha powder. 


  • 1/4 cup Earth Butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs agave 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mochiko flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

To start, I set the oven to 350 degrees F. Then I mixed together the cocoa powder, matcha, oil, almond milk, earth balance, agave, sugar, and vanilla extract. 

In another bowl I combined the rest of the ingredients– mochiko, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt.  After thoroughly mixing, create a hole in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mix you created earlier. Mix like crazy… seriously! After washing my hands I used my them to squish everything together and then carefully place the mixture into a pan. I used a 9″ x 13″, but it works better to use a smaller pan so that the mochi comes out thicker. 

Place the pan into the 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Afterwards, let cool for 15 minutes and cut into squares. 



Man it’s been a while! Aloha from Hawaii, USA, my new home. That’s right, the white chicks with Spanish last names are now thousands of miles apart… But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep cooking great vegan shit and writing our little hearts out. I miss Erin mucho, but hopefully this blog will help her and I keep tabs on our vegan cooking, something that is important and very dear to us both.

Let’s get started. A very merry belated Christmas! I got a whole lot of fun presents (including a Vitamix, holy hell!) but none so vegan specific as the new Thug Kitchen book, “Party Grub”! In an earlier post I noted that Thug Kitchen was one of my fave cookbooks. Still is. Jumping right into this book, it looks to have everything the last one did and MORE. I particularly like that they teach basic shit like how to make tortillas, roast garlic, pop popcorn, etc… It may sound too easy to be in a book, but it’s stuff you just don’t think about and rush to the store to buy pre-made instead. I really appreciated that portion of the book.

Anyways, enough of that. Tonight we felt lazy and decided to make something that looked like lazy people food: the loaded nachos on page 74, accompanied by the queso-ish dip on page 46. We were wrong about the lazy part. It took a lot of dishes and prep to make that queso dip! But it was so worth it. The butternut squash was an interesting filler to use instead of the old cashew recipe we are used to. Topping that cheezy mess on top of some guacamole, black beans, serrano peppers, cilantro, and cabbage… was absolute heaven. And it reminded me of the time we went to Erin’s house and made Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s version of queso and nachos. Here’s the final pic we snapped. Amen!

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Day 28: Tacos v. Burritos

Vegan Mofo Theme: Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?

tacos with colorsUm…TACOS. That was easy. Don’t get me wrong-I love a good burrito bowl, but tacos have always seemed more fun. I think it’s because the ratio of filling to outside is much higher. Ratios in our food are important; I think you can find them in almost every culture (don’t get my husband started on rice to ulam ratio). Plus the build-them-yourself aspect means you can try different combos of fillings in one meal.

So tonight Elly came over and made us homemade corn tortillas! Homemade tortillas are so much better than store-bought if you have the time. Especially for flour tortillas. Corn ones are super simple to make as well if you can find masa. Most bags will have a recipe on the back, but if you’d like the kitchn has a good explanation here.

We cooked up some fillings including this taco “meat” from oh she glows (adding in 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for some spice), some sautéed onions and peppers, guacamole, chopped veggies, and tofu sour “cream” (chipotle and regular versions!). Speaking of ratios, the lentils in our “meat” along with our bell peppers gave us the one-two nutritional punch of iron and vitamin c!

taco t shirt
David even sported his fan shirt for dinner; now that’s a true taco lover!

We hope you voted for tacos today too if you were participating in vegan mofo. If not, we hope you’ll vote for vegan tacos at your dinner table in the future.



Day 26: Rained in, Snowed in


Today’s Vegan MoFo Theme: You’re snowed in and can only use ingredients in your household. What do you make?

Brainstorming ideas for this topic, I just thought to myself about foods I used to make in college. Pastas and stir fry were both easy things for me to create, though back then they probably tasted like garbage. They are both something you can wander around your kitchen, pull pretty much anything off your shelves, and make (an at least okay-tasting) dish with. You have to try pretty hard to jack this up.

It doesn’t ever rain in California. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we are pretty sepia out here. When I moved here the grass

Yeah, we are f**'d.
Yeah, we are f**’d.
was green, trees were flourishing, and everyone had smiles on their faces. Now people’s houses are burnt down, all the grass is dead, and the trees are slowly dying too. It’s a pretty dire situation, and besides price increase in certain items and water, we haven’t specifically been affected as of yet, luckily. Before I continue on this tangent, my point is that we don’t ever get rained in, or snowed in for that matter, though snow does fall in some parts of California (just not here).

Instead of rained in/snowed in, I am often “lazy’d”-in. Meaning I am too tired to put on clothes and leave the house. It’s my inner teenager coming out, but I know you all do it too, so I ain’t ashamed! This was conveniently one of those nights, and went right along with our theme here for the Vegan Month of Food (that’s almost over! omg). If you’re ever at home, and have no idea what to make… the most basic of basics is to stir fry some veggies. Even if you only have one kind, like lettuce, you cannot go wrong. Tonight I had quite a few; bean sprouts, carrots, bamboo, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, red onion, and green onion. Not to mention I (surprise!) had some flat noodles too! Do you ever find something you didn’t know was in there? Thank you pantry.

Once you chop everything up (the labor part…), start by putting your tougher veggies into your wok, like the cauliflower, carrots,FullSizeRender etc. Once those break down a little, add the softer items like cabbage and spinach. Sautee on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, then stir in your sauce. The sauce doesn’t look like a lot at first, but it spreads out pretty evenly among everything once you toss it in the wok.

The sauce is as easy as dumping all of the following into a bowl, swirling with a spoon, and dumping on your veggies, post stir-fry:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut/almond/cashew butter (we used almond)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (mmmmmmm..)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste (we like it HOT)

You can serve this on anything you have; white rice, brown rice, soba noodles, hell… even spaghetti would work. You’re trapped in your house remember, so times are desperate! What did you all make?

– E&E

Day 25: pick a food, any food…

Vegan MoFo theme of the day: Share your fave cuisine!

Erin and I discussed this topic together today. What could we make? What is (together) our favorite cuisine? What could top those empanadas we made last night (which were killer, my husband is asking for them already again)? 

Choosing a favorite cuisine is really tough. Some people imagine that the vegan diet is really limited, and that our favorite cuisine would be something like “SALAD… With water as a dressing”. It’s quite the opposite though. I love empanadas and flautas, but I also love miso and sushi, juk and bibimbap, pakora and samosas, all kinds of shit, you name it! All things you imagine a vegan couldn’t eat can be made vegan nowadays and it’s never been a better time to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES ANY MORE, people. 

For me, I don’t think I could choose just one favorite cuisine. So many are fitting to my lifestyle. When I first became vegetarian, and even my early veganism, I preferred Thai and Indian food above all else, mostly due to the wide range of options they had for special eaters like me. My sister and I also discovered a type of food called Buddhist Mountain Cuisine, and diet held by some traditional Buddhist monks, especially in Korea. It is easy on the stomach and vegan. We stumbled into a Korean restaurant in New York’s Korea town, Hangawi, and were exposed to this type of cuisine a few years back (definitely hit this place up if you are visiting Manhattan). 

Nowadays things are different though. I don’t feel restricted by food boundaries, or what others think I should eat, and whatever I prepare by my own hand becomes my favorite type of cuisine. I get the most amazing sense of accomplishment if I cook something that actually tastes GOOD. Doesn’t everyone? And nowadays that happens more and more often (phew!).  Eating out is fun too, but I find myself at work daydreaming about what I’d like to cook that night, instead. It’s a complete 180 from me 5, 10 years ago, who had no passion or interest in cooking. 

So, long answer short, I just wasted your time in reading this to say that I don’t quite know what my favorite is anymore. My favorite is ELLY cuisine, made by me. And when going out to eat, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Lebanese, Italian, all top that list. Eating has become such a pleasure over the past few years, and since going from vegetarian to vegan. Did this happen to anyone else?


– E&E

Day 24: Empanadas for the Pope

Vegan Mofo Theme:What [insert well known person] would eat if they were vegan.


If you reside in the United States, you’ve probably heard the Pope is in town! We thought the Pope would be pretty down with the whole idea of compassionate eating and we wanted to show him that it would be super easy to remake some popular favorites from his heritage in a vegan fashion. I can’t quite vouch for the true authenticity, but our meal tonight was certainly inspired by traditional Argentinian favorites!

You never eat alone
If you live in a Catholic household…you’ll never eat alone. Also, we aren’t sure if the Pope likes Yerba Mate, but it’s an Argentinian speciality that we were inspired to try for the first time today. Yum!

This recipe is truly forgiving; substitute your heart away. Don’t have sweet potato on hand? Use regular potato. No green onions?  Red, white, yellow, or more garlic (fakemeat&truelove, we’re talking to you and your love of elephant garlic here) will do fine. If cilantro tastes like soap to you (I’m so sorry), use parsley-it’s truer to traditional chimichurri anyways. Go wild with your spices people and have fun in the kitchen!

Without further ado-I give you our veggie empanadas with chimichurri sauce!

Ingredients-Empanada Filling

  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced (we used about half of a large potato)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (we used up some leftover frozen corn and two fresh ears)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients-Empanada Dough (Adapted from The Kitchn)

  • 1 flax seed “egg” (2 Tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tablespoons water)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (additional all-purpose is fine to sub, but the whole wheat lends a great nuttiness to the crust)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted cold butter spread, cubed (we used earth balance)
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more as needed
  • Melted butter spread for brushing


  • 1 bunch cilantro (stems and all)
  • 3-4 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vinegar (we used regular white because that’s what we had on hand; red or white wine vinegar would be pleasant too-but you might need to bump up the amount since they are a little milder in flavor)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • FillingMake the filling: Spread chopped sweet potato on a roasting pan, spray/drizzle with a little oil, and place in a 400 degree oven to roast for 15-20 minutes, while you prep your other filling ingredients.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat, add garlic, and sauté until the garlic becomes a little fragrant. Add in corn kernels and green onions and cook until corn becomes tender (3-5 mins). Add in spinach and spices and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so until the spinach has wilted slightly. Turn off the heat. Remove your roasted sweet potato from the oven and mix into the rest of the veggies. Set aside the filling until you are ready to make your empanadas.
  • Make the dough: Mix up your flax seed egg in a small bowl and set aside while you gather your dry ingredients. In a large bowl measure out your flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, your hands, two knives, or an electric mixer, cut cold butter into the flour until it resembles the consistency of small peas. Add the flax seed egg and the cold water and mix until the dough holds together. Adjust with more water, about a Tablespoon at a time, if the dough is not coming together or more flour, if the dough is too sticky.
  • Filling+DoughAssemble your empanadas: Grabbing a small handful of dough each time, roll it into a ball with floured hands and roll out into a circle using a rolling pin, aiming for a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Spoon filling into the center of the dough. Wet the inner edge of one half of the dough, fold the other half over and press edges firmly together to shape your empanada. Place empanadas on a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined, baking sheet. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, gently brush/rub empanadas with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is slightly brown around the edges.
  • Make Chimichurri: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined, with small flecks of cilantro remaining (about 10 -12 pulses).

This dish makes approximately eight medium empanadas with a little extra filling left (enough to feed about 4 humans, or 3 if they’re hungry). These will also reheat wonderfully in a toaster oven/regular oven if you have leftovers.

Enjoy (compassionately!) by dipping your empanadas in the chimichurri and serving with some chilled Yerba Mate (another Argentinian speciality).

-E & E