Texas Animal-Friendly License Plates

Did you know you can get a license plate that supports Texas animals? I didn’t. At least not until someone mentioned a Sea Turtle license plate, which got me very excited. Unfortunately, those are only available in Florida and Georgia.

In Texas, we can get “Animal Friendly,” the proceeds of which go to spaying and neutering animals. A really important cause. Also, then you get to advertise how much you love animals without worrying about someone writing “People Eating Tasty Animals” in the dust on your filthy windows.

There’s also this neat Horned Lizard license plate. The money from this one goes to Texas Parks and Wildlife to protect, “native, non-game species” like the horned lizard.

And just because sea turtles are adorable, check out the Florida sea turtle plate:

Tostadas Perfectos

Tuesday night tostada dinner

Tostadas Perfectos

2 fresh corn tortillas (small)
4 Tbsp refried beans
1/3 cup finely grated Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack Vegan Gourmet cheese
chopped raw onions, to taste
Stella’s Famous Guacamole
2 tsp Sour Supreme
1 Tbsp of your favorite salsa
handful of mixed leaves
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Earth Balance
vegetable oil

1. Over medium-high heat, fry tortillas in vegetable oil until crispy and nicely browned. Drain on paper towels.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix Earth Balance and beans, then heat for approximately one minute (of course, you can use a saucepan, if you prefer). Then stir in chili powder and cumin and microwave until heated through (probably about another minute, depending on your microwave).

3. On a big plate, assemble tostadas: on each crisp tortilla, spread half the beans, then sprinkle with cheese. Using a toaster oven (or microwave), heat for a few seconds until cheese begins to melt (this usually doesn’t take long at all with FYH cheeses). Then top with guacamole, onions, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa, to your taste. Enjoy!


Crossposted from stellatex.

Burger and fries

I used to work in my parents’ convenience store, and I flipped many a burger. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it. By far my most popular item, back in the old days, was a burger with grilled onions and mushrooms, with a toasted bun.

I’ve been craving a veggie burger since Thursday, and when I realized I had a vegan Boca Burger in the freezer, and a whole potato waiting for its destiny, I decided to make my own burger while waiting for the football game to start.

My new mandoline made perfect fries – so exciting! It took all of 30 seconds to transform the potato into these uniform, expertly-sliced fries. Goodbye sore wrists and hours of potato cutting!

I don’t think I really need to give you a recipe, since I am using a pre-made burger, but for the toppings, I used leftover pecan pesto, a little spinach, both mayo and mustard, pan fried mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Yes. Oh, yes.

Of course, to treat myself for game day, I also had a Dr Pepper. What a perfect Saturday Night! Texas Fight!

Cross posted from stellatex.

Sunday lunch: veggie ribs, bourbon-glazed sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese


Alin brought me a funny/weird/fascinating box of “Veggie Ribs” from her recent trip to Portland (the contents of which, hilariously enough, were produced in Tomball, Texas!). Basically, it’s a boxed seitan mix. You add tahini (or peanut butter), water, and margarine, then bake with BBQ sauce. Now, I don’t have anything to compare this to, having never, in all my 25+ years as a Texan meat-eater, been able to bring myself to eat a rib. But I can say they were fairly flavorful, chewy, nicely browned and crunchy around the edges, and interesting. If I had another box, I would make them again. Or, I might just make seitan strips marinated in BBQ sauce in the future.


This was also the first time I’ve made BBQ sauce from scratch – I used the Veganomicon recipe, and was very pleased. Now I have a whole 4 cups of BBQ sauce in my fridge! Cost? One onion and some pantry staples. Awesome!

bbq sauce

The New Farm Macaroni and Cheese recipe is here, and the Southern sweet potatoes are here (unmashed this time around).

sweet potatoes

mac and cheese


Thanks, Alin!

Cross posted from stellatex.

Austin: Another Dog Almighty review

Pfluger Dog

Continuing the high calorie theme, I finally went to Dog Almighty. It’s a little out of my way, as it’s way down South Lamar, practically next door to the Broken Spoke, but I’d been hankering for a visit to Half Price Books, and there happens to be one in the same shopping center, so I decided to make that my Saturday morning itinerary (yep – you can’t say I’m not goal-oriented).

I got some fantastic titles at Half Price, including the first volume of Emma Goldman’s autobiography for $6.00 and a pocket-sized, full color field guide to Texas birds. Yee haw!

Then I wandered over to Dog Almighty. I was not disappointed. They have an impressive menu (and anything on it can be veganized!), and I plan to try their award winning vegetarian chili soon, but I couldn’t resist the Pfluger Dog. For those of you not from Texas: Pflugerville is a small town northeast of Austin, named after some German pioneer dude. It’s pronounced, “FLOO-gur-vil.” And you’ll occasionally see cars around here with those oval, European stickers (like the famous “GB” sticker) with the letters “Pf,” which I personally find charming. Anyway, the vegan Pfluger Dog comes with sauerkraut, mustard, and onions, on a vegan bun. I threw in a side of fries and a fountain Dr Pepper and settled in to read the Chronicle. The staff were helpful, the place was clean and comfy, and I liked the corrugated metal walls – it’s like being in a barbecue joint, but without the suicide food decor. So I felt pretty at home.

Not only was the dog warm, heaped with toppings, and delicious, but the fries were near perfect: slightly browned, crispy, and piping hot. I doused ’em in Cholula and dug in. I will definitely be back. In fact, I’ll probably take my parents there as a dinner compromise next time they come visit.

Dog 2

Also: $2 beer. All day, every day.

Dog Almighty
3005 South Lamar
Austin, Texas

Monday – Saturday: 11:00am-10:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 9:00pm

Cross posted from stellatex.