Forever Alone

Sometimes you make Valentine’s Day cookies for someone, but they have to cancel, and now you’re sitting by yourself with a giant pile of cookies and no idea what to do with them.


What doooooooooooo?




Side Dish: Vegan Mashed Potatoes

The ProFit and I are guilty of eating too many single-component meals, which we’ve realized is making it hard to lose weight.  It seems obvious, but we had to independently discover this.  My mother almost never cooked when I was younger, so I got into the habit of eating mono-diets.  One meal = one ingredient + seasoning.  The thing with only consuming “main dishes”, however, is that they are usually the most calorie-dense portion of a meal.  Instead of simply scorfing down a bag of vegan chicken nuggets for dinner, we need to get over our learned laziness and instead eat half a bag + low calorie side dishes.  Mashed potatoes are a good choice because potatoes are cheap to buy, easy to grow, and keep for a long time if stored properly.


Therefore, for future reference, here are a few tips for tasty vegan mashed potatoes:

  1. You don’t need a food processor for small portions.  Think about how long it takes to clean a food processor vs. how long it takes to mash the potatoes yourself with a fork.  I really dislike involving appliances when a bit of elbow grease will do just fine.  Plus, you’ll burn a calorie.
  2. For about 3 large Idaho potatoes, add about 1/2 cup unflavored almond milk to make them creamier.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of margarine for some extra flavor.
  4. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  5. I’ve found vegan gravy from various brands to be consistently watery and thin.  Adding some cornstarch will help thicken it, but stir well or you’ll have lumps.

Miscellanea: Pizza Artistry

I just want everyone to see how beautiful my vegan pizzas are.  This is why I won’t eat anything from Papa Johns & co.   It’s like comparing the Sistine Chapel with a bunch of doodles a bored high schooler scribbled in the margins of their math homework.

Devour it with your eyes only, because I already ate it.

All right, that’s enough looking for you lot.  Move along.


Heavy Meals: Vegan Ricotta/Mushroom Stuffed Pasta Shells

1,425 calories

Despite my better judgement (and the fact that I need to lose 10lbs, STAT), I thought I’d experiment with some pasta.  Overall, the result was okay, but I don’t like pasta enough to not regret the calories.  No matter what you do to it, pasta + tomato sauce + cheese always tastes exactly the same.  Oh well, sometimes you do things just because you can.


Serves two people.  Preparation Time: About 1 hour.

Approximately 1,426 calories for 1/2 recipe.  Calories in the whole batch: 2,852.


Mixing Bowls, Spoons, Wooden Spoon, Knife, Cooking Pot, Medium-Sized Square Baking Pan, and an Oven.


  • 1 Box Large Pasta Shells
    + DaVinci Jumbo: 1,400 calories per container.
  • 1 Jar Pasta Sauce
    + Barilla Traditional Pasta Sauce: 350 for 2-1/2 cups.
  • 1 Tub Vegan Ricotta Cheese
    + Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese: 800 calories for 2 cup.
  • ~1/2 Cup Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
    + Daiya Mozzarella Shreds: 180 calories for 1/4 container.
  • Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese
    + Go Veggie Grated Parmesan Style Topping: 92 calories for 1/5 container.
  • 2 Cups Diced Mushrooms: 30 calories.
  • Italian Seasoning


Step 1. Boil the large pasta shells in a pot of water until tender, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.  Drain the pasta and set aside.

Step 2. Dice some stuffer mushrooms, about two or three cups worth.  You could also use spinach instead.

Step 3. In a bowl, mix the tub of ricotta cheese with the Parmesan topping to make the filling.  Stir in the diced mushrooms.

Step 4. Pour half of the pasta sauce into the baking pan.

Step 5. Stuff the pasta shells with the filing.  If you have any shells left over, just eat them separately or throw them in the pan with the stuffed ones.

Step 6. Place the stuffed shells in the sauce.  Pour the rest of the sauce over them and sprinkle with the mozzarella and some Italian seasoning.

Step 7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Eat the World: Gettysburg, PA

When I was a kid, I visited the Gettysburg battlefield site and museum.  Returning as an adult, I realize it’s changed a lot since back then.  The layout of the museum is very modern, and not in a good way.  It’s gone from a well-illuminated, open space to a gloomy winding path.  There’s far too much multimedia, each video played at an excessively high volume; meanwhile, videos from other nearby rooms also compete for your attention.  It’s a disorganized mess.  Furthermore, rather than focusing on the battle and military technology/tactics, the museum is about the social context in which the war occurred.  THAT’S BORING.  Having a history degree myself, I can see the bias of whichever revisionist historian is in charge of the place.  Gettysburg is no longer a story about the tragedy of “brother fighting against brother”, but instead a portrayal of heroic Union soldiers pitted against slave-owning monsters.   Personally, I think the image of siblings finding themselves on opposing sides of a horrible battle is far more compelling, since I’m quite fond of my brother.

Nevertheless, the collection they have is very well-preserved and interesting.  Several pieces of hard tack are available for viewing as a testament to the universal need of humans to ingest biomatter.  One display spoke of a recipe using hard tack which entailed mixing crushed crackers with water and lard.  I guess I’d still recommend going just for the quality and variety of the artifacts.  At the end of the day, The ProFit and I bought a bottle of sarsaparilla from the gift shop because neither of us knew what it was or how it tasted.  Turns out it’s just root beer.  The more you know ~~~*

Here’s a video of someone eating a piece of real Civil War hard tack.  I almost puked while watching–it’s awesome:

P.S.  If you want a really good museum experience in Gettysburg, check out the (free) Gettysburg Museum of History.  It’s a small, totally k00ky and eclectic curio museum full of crazy stuff like mummy heads, human skulls, and a ton of other artifacts of questionable provenance.  The shelves were packed from floor to ceiling.  We saw a bra supposedly owned by Marilyn Monroe, “Eva Braun’s Lingerie”, and an entire room dedicated to JFK.  The ProFit and I were surprised that we didn’t come across King Arthur’s sword or a desiccated mermaid in that jumble.  Now that’s the kind of museum experience I like–one that makes for a memorable story.

External Content: Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I’m just never satisfied with vegan pumpkin pie recipes.  Every year I try a new one, and every year I’m unsatisfied with the chunks of tofu or whatever other gloop I use to try and simulate the texture of normal pies.

This recipe, however, is amazing.   I was skeptical at first, especially when I saw that it used cornstarch and maple syrup.  I thought it would turn out to be a maple-flavored mess with globs of cornstarch suspended in it.

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I had to eat my words, and the pie.  Like, the whole thing.

P.S. The recipe says to use a blender–not necessary.  Just stir it vigorously and it’ll be fine.