Tuesday, November 16, 2010

16. My Favorite MoFo Themes

We are half way through the Month of Vegan Food! I've loved every post of it so far. I was never religious about posting before, but I've done every day, and all of them in advance so far. The best part for me has been the sense of freedom. I feel no guilt for short, fun, food-related posts.

However, I didn't start that way. I had a lot of anxiety about having no theme. So many bloggers have chosen exciting, and creative themes, and I want to be one of those.

But my theme for life is busy - work, school, dance - I work hard to make certain things like reading for pleasure, and cooking a priority. So I'm actually happy to just be making daily posts. In the future, I'll try to come up with the theme to end themes, but for now, you get what you get.

Well, actually what you get is a list of my favorite themes and descriptions quoted from the bloggers that dreamed them up. This is in no way comprehensive. My strategy for blog reading has been to open the reader and and click about at different points on the list. The blogs below are ones I happen to come across and fancy the theme. They're in no particular order. And if your wicked cool theme isn't listed here, let me know in the comments and I will avenge you!

Carnal Vegan
... so for vegan mofo my plan is to post about some cultural food-related moments that i find particularly interesting, each hopefully accompanied by some minor analysis or just a quick thought about its significance.

Rose's Random Road Trip
My theme this year will be a random road trip. The idea is to use the random geo-location generator from random.org to generate the destinations ... This will provide me with the locations for the "road trip" ...

Madcap Cupcake's Holiday Cookie Project
This year I thought I’d keep the focus on the sweet. I’m thinking cookies – holiday cookies, specifically. This was my line of thought – by the time this month is done, the Holiday season will be upon us and (this is when inspiration struck) since every year I like to make cookies for friends and family (and sometimes it’s a challenge to find the time to experiment with a lot of new cookies), why not make MoFo 2010 into my personal Holiday Cookie Project. You see, by the end of the month I shall have tried and tested over two dozen different cookies – and the best of the best of these little sweeties will see their way into Holiday spreads and gift baskets galore.

Vegan Eats & Treats
Today is day one of the Vegan Month of Food, and I will attempt to blog every day this month. Furthermore! I am going to take you on a grand adventure... Around the World in 30 Days. Every day this month, I will feature a different meal from a different country. What fun!

In My Vegan Life
My MoFo theme this year is “Veganizing Family Recipes,” and I’m having a ton of fun sifting through my recipe cards, asking relatives questions about their famous dishes, and often challenging myself to come up with vegan solutions to hurdles like “corned beef.”

Weekly Vegan Menu
For the following month we are recreating restaurant food for your home. Don't live near Millennium? No problem. Applebee's uses meat? We got it covered. Desserts use eggs and dairy? Sink your sweet tooth into November.

This month we are traveling all over the U.S. making signature meals - yes, not dishes, but meals! - from top vegan, vegetarian and popular restaurants.

Vegan Food; More Than Tofu and Sprouts!
Not only will I be participating in this month's web-famous "VEGAN MOFO" Month-Of-Vegan-Food Blogger's Challenge, but I've also accepted a further (and crazier) challenge from the lovely and über-talented super-blogger Jess Scone (Of "Get Sconed" and "Stumptown Vegans" fame) : To blog 30 DAYS OF VEGAN GRAVY!

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: The Vegan Version
I'm always veganizing recipes that I love - or ones that just look or sound good...

sometimes successfully - sometimes not...

Messy Vegetarian Cook
In celebration of the Vegan Month of Food 2010, the Messy Vegetarian Cook is going South-East Asian! Coconut, rice, noodles, bananas and leaves, chili, pandan, woks, steamers, tofu, and more!

The I-40 Kitchen
This year for Vegan MoFo, I am going to explore recipes from old vegan or vegetarian cookbooks. I will write more about some of the books and authors as the month progresses.

Juu's German Kitchen
Imagine my kitchen would be a time machine and it is going to sent me back to 1910. Of course I'm not going to leave my hometown so I'm going to find myself standing in a kitchen inside of an old house somewhere in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Rear View Vegetarian
Rather than examining items (recipes and books and ideas oh my!) in my usual somewhat anarchic style I'm going with a plotted narrative. Complete with characters and cliffhangers and episodic storytelling.

Cupcake Kitteh
Earlier this year I participated in River's E.A.T World challenge, I made recipes from France, the Caribbean and Central & South America. I've decided to continue on with the E.A.T World challenge as my VeganMofo theme. I'll be visiting a different country each day, veganising traditional meals as well as making them gluten and soy free.

Lazy Smurf's Guide to Life
Rice and beans.

Scratch and Sniff
For the month of November, I'll be blogging about packing vegan lunches for adults. If there's anything you ever wanted to know about how one lazy person can save money, eat healthfully, reduce her environmental footprint, and prevent animal cruelty all through the power of a satisfying lunch, ask in the comments.

I had month-long themes in mind when I started, but the good people at the PPK forums pointed out some really cool week-long themes and weekly serials and I couldn't resist including them. I know these are for last week, but it's worth going back to read them.

Down Home Vegan: Magazine Week
This week, I'm going to embark on a theme I was going to do last year, but ran out of weeks. Each day will feature a different cooking magazine's recipe that I will veganize, or simply just use as an inspiration.

Seitan Said Dance: Comic Book Week
It's a new week, so I've got a new theme. This week's theme is comic books. Yup. I'm going to write five posts about food inspired by comic books and it's going to be just as nerdy as you expect it to be.

Vegan in Brighton: Cook Book Challenge
I have A LOT of cookbooks and I feel that most of them really don't get used enough. Although I do genuinely love to cook I often find myself relying quite heavily on processed foods & (delicious) meat substitutes - I'd like this to change & MoFo seemed like a good time for a challenge. So, I made a list of all the cookbooks I have & would like to use more & all week I'll be picking the name of a cookbook from [a] pile...

Panda With Cookie: Tasteless Tablescapes
Tablescapes! Such a hot topic these days. Now if you are like me you don't have the cash to buy a bunch of pretty, fancy dishes to suit the multiple tablecloths, vases and outfits you plan to decorate your table with. So I will provide you with some simple ideas that anyone can use to make their next dinner party fun!

What are your favorite themes this MoFo?

Even though this entry took me longer than most of the others, I feel like I'm cheating. This post isn't really about vegan food, it's about what others are doing with vegan foods. So I leave you with this:

I needed a convenient and easy weekend lunch while in the middle of writing a research proposal that was due soon. I found the answer to that in Robin Robertson's 1000 Vegan Recipes. The Curried Walnut "Chicken" Salad was my first foray into the word of curried salads. I've seen plenty of recipes for it, but it always sounded sort of icky.

But I got brave - I wanted to make something with seitan, and this was easy. I didn't use homemade seitan - that's an experiment for another day - but I found some in the store.

This came together very quickly and was delicious and satisfying. It's not the most photogenic food in the world, but at least the lettuce is pretty!


  1. Great wrap up! This is my first year doing a theme and I am glad I picked rice and beans because it helped me not spend a million dollars on fancy ingredients :)

  2. Good job on posting every day! And what a great list! There are so many cool ideas there; thanks for compiling them...I've been using a sort of 'hunt and peck' method of blog discovery too...it's nice to have some direction sometimes.

    Thanks for the shout out.

    And that curried seitan salad looks absolutely delicious!

  3. Thanks Lazy Smurf! I love the themed blogs, and yours is especially brilliant for the reason you stated - inexpensive recipes! I've been trying to build a repertoire of beans and rice recipes to cut down the grocery bill and have bookmarked several of your ideas to help with that. I especially want to try to morning spiced rice.

    Rose, thank you! I'm having a lot of fun doing it. I've also been using hunt and peck, but noting themes when I find them and asking people who find cool themes to send them my way.

    And you're welcome for the shoutout :) Yours is one of the first I stumbled upon and thought, I need to keep track of these themed ones!

  4. Thanks for including my theme, too! Way to go blogging every day. That is a theme in itself :)

    I know how life can be busy, so that is quite an accomplishment. Nice posts, too!

  5. You're welcome Vegan Aide! I know so many people who claim that eating out is something that keeps them from being vegan, but your menus are a really good rebuttal to that.

    And thank you. I've really enjoyed posting every day. I've tried to see it as a break from the busy life.