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Guide for new vapers, or aspiring former smokers

Monday, 14 October, 2013
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This article is six months old as I type and out of date. It remains as an information source, and as a personal log. The personal vaporizer industry is evolving so quickly any information over three months old should be considered well out of date.

Although I haven’t said anything here, I have in fact stopped smoking cigarettes. I am now using a personal vaporizer to get a regular nicotine fix. Don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong. I know. At another time I may elaborate on the phenomenon of “vaping”, and my experiences within the scene.

As ever, I am cost conscious. My first rig was purchased just a few weeks ago, specifically at about 3 PM Friday, October 6, 2013, and cost a little under $60 in a retail vape shop. This included a T2 clearomizer, a 650 mAh battery with wall charger, two spare wicks and two 7 ml bottles of “juice” in coffee and RY4, a tobacco-blend taste-alike, flavors. I spent the remainder of the weekend exploring just what I had gotten myself into. Vaping is a superior experience to smoking, especially as poor as common tobacco is today.

  1. As I walked into the shop, I had no idea I had already smoked my last cigarette.*
  2. As I left the shop well pleased, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no awareness of liquid vaping as recently as July, and am presently enraptured with the scene and its characters.
  3. It’s a good thing I’m generally broke because I could lash torrents of cash at the many products and methods about which I am curious.

As long as I’m spending less than $148 per month on vaping, I’m ahead. In the last 38 days I have spent:

  • $74 on juice, at this point I have a significant pantry
  • $50 upon my initial purchase, save the juice.
  • $21 on an impulse buy of a superior clearomizer and some wicks.
  • $53 on an order from a China-direct website with an especially well developed “e-cigarette” section. This includes five additional clearos, ten wicks for those clearos, three especially large batteries, an additional wall charger, two different “passthrough” units which allow plugging the clearo into a USB power port in lieu of using a battery with the intent of keeping one of them in the car.
  • $15 locally on wicks for my first clearo.

That is $213, or almost six weeks of cigarettes. I’m actually right on budget. Many of the things I have purchased were purchased at a poor price, and I have re-learned that lesson I must learn repeatedly. Many of the items are durable if not permanent, batteries last about 400 charges, clearos 300-500 fills, etc. This includes enough juice, or the elixir of vaping, to last easily through the end of the month, possibly until Thanksgiving. Sadly, I’m champing at the bit. At the moment I have $63 of stuff sitting in a wish list on the alpha site for ordering vape supplies.

Part of the objective is to save money tending to my addiction, which no one, least of all modern medicine or me, knows how to amend, but also to have a nice time doing it. Please note that vaping is such a pleasant exercise there is a market, albeit a niche one, for nicotine-free juice. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before some smart cookie works out how to put other stuff in the juice, especially in California, Washington state, Colorado, etc.

Based on my modest experience, but also knowing the mentality of a chronic nicotine addict, I am prepared to make recommendations to help get that nicotine addict in your life away from smoking, if not their drug of “choice” with a focus upon people like me, the “hardcore smoker”. This is someone who consumes thirty, or a pack and a half of cigarettes daily. The heavy smoker in your life has dedicated much energy toward insuring they are never without the means to consume a cigarette. This person has backup lighters hidden throughout the home, car and satchel littered with both ash and ashtrays. You find sturdy matches in the house despite their electric appliances. Your smoker has a great deal of their soul vested in keeping a steady supply of their drug flowing in a manner they comprehend. This person is leery of anything other than the tried-and-true cigarette due to the inadequacy of other methods of nicotine delivery. I know of this from first-hand experience. Your smoker wants to quit cigarettes, but simply cannot without a degree of physical pain and mental anguish those who practice medicine are not capable of comprehending.

Please note many people adopt the PV or e-cig and stop smoking immediately. Others require several weeks to taper their cigarette intake as they vape more and more. If you share a home with your smoker, do not impose any new rules during the transition period. In fact, you may consider letting your addict vape in the house or perhaps certain areas within the house, such as near their office or hobby areas.

Practical instruction on the assembly, maintenance and use of these items are available on the internet via your favorite search engine. Try YouTube as well.

The first step is to find a vape shop in your area which features a tasting bar. This will allow your smoker to try the device and decide whether it will work. Submit the word “vape” and the name of your metropolitan area to your favorite search engine to find one. Yelp is good, too. If at all possible, avoid kiosks at shopping centers or malls as they tend to offer especially poor merchandise at the highest prices. Provided your smoker is willing to attempt the change, consider the following.

No one will blame you for purchasing the rig right on the spot. However, following is a list of essential items, beyond what a brick-and-mortar shop is prepared to provide, as listed on, a leading vape-supplies and general-gadget vendor.

The key to the personal vaporizer or electronic cigarette is the atomizer itself. The most common ones, especially for beginning vapers, are called clearomizers. The former heavy smoker requires large clearomizers, which carry a great deal of juice and will require two or more to carry around for the day. Your new former smoker will also require at least one clearo to keep in reserve.

For a start, buy three or four T2-clone clearos. These are large, 2.4 ml units and are especially easy to maintain. (Rinse in warm water and replace the wick when the vapor tastes a bit like metal, a “dry hit”.) Replacement wicks tend to be available locally, but are especially cheap online. Be certain to buy several weeks worth, no fewer than three packs of five. The T2 provides a great deal of warm vapor for its size and price. The most common clones tend to be regarded as superior to the authentic article. Having multiple clearos also allows your new vaper to keep several flavors of juice going at once.

You may also wish to consider the iClear 16, which is much smaller and somewhat more expensive, but is the “name brand” unit recommended for beginners. The same rules apply, including the purchase of additional coils and wick right away.

An additional possibility is the CE4, but not the CE4+, which is quite similar to the iClear 16 in its fundamental design. CE4 kits are common and are actually quite good, despite their low cost. Many vapers, including your correspondent, find the CE-series clearos do not wick as well as other varieties and add a plastic taste to vapor.

The wicks for each of these may be rinsed once or twice instead of replaced. This washing or replacement rate depends on how heavily the clearo is used. A single clearo used alone will require a new or rinsed wick after five days to a week. Rinsing a wick involves simply soaking the disassembled clearo in warm water, some use room-temperature vodka, for several minutes and letting the parts dry completely before reassembly. The drying process for a wick can take several hours, and it must be saturated in fluid for at least an hour before use.

For every pack of cigarettes smoked, anticipate the consumption of at least 3 ml of juice daily. Because of the different nature of the delivery system, consumption rates of 4 to 5 ml daily is not uncommon.

A common “full flavor” or red cigarette offers 1.0-1.3 mg of nicotine. A heavier smoke, often found in generic brands, offers 1.2 – 1.5 mg of nicotine per cigarette. What was once called light, offers 0.5-0.7 mg per cigarette.  A new vaper transitioning to from cigarettes may require 20% more nicotine available in a daily, or even hour-by-hour basis.

The “hardcore smoker” consuming 30 heavy-smoke cigarettes daily consumes 40 mg of nicotine daily. (1.35 mg average x 30) This should illustrate the inadequacy of 21 mg nicotine patches for the people who require them most. When transitioning to vaping this should be assumed to increase to 48 mg daily, and this must be available over the course of a day. To consume 48 mg daily one will consume 2 ml of 2.4% solution, or 3 ml of 1.8% solution daily, A 15 ml bottle of juice will last about a week. In actual practice, a vaper keeps several bottles of juice and changes flavors frequently. Special cases are available for both the carrying of batteries and a variety of clearomizers each with a different flavor of fluid.

The fiddling with the batteries, clearos, fluids and so forth fulfill a hardcore smokers habituation toward making a fuss over his habit. This is a direct replacement for maintaining lighters, emptying ashtrays or even cigarette holders and the like.

The atomizer or clearo is activated through what is called an Ego connection which is the bottom of the clearomizer. You will require a minimum of two batteries of considerable size. For a heavy user, three large batteries are preferred. Specifically, one battery to be in use at any particular time, another which is on the charger while the other is in use, and a third “backup” unit. These are the same chemistry as batteries used in your computer and phone which may be charged at any time without ill effect. Batteries are measured in milliamp-hours as are all batteries. Do not consider “variable voltage” batteries or more complicated devices called mods at this time. Keep it simple for a start.

For every pack of cigarettes smoked, anticipate the use of 700 mAh of electricity. More is always better. Two batteries for every vaper in the house, and a spare should be considered a minimum. With consideration of the price differential, on the overseas-direct sites, you may as well get several 1300 mAh batteries. The batteries charge through USB interfaces, just like on your computer, despite actually using a computer to charge batteries is not recommended.

Batteries must be charged with a steady current flow which computers and automobiles cannot provide. Never charge a PV battery in an automobile. The irregular current flow can and has caused Ego batteries to explode. Instead use a dedicated charger. Have at least one for every four batteries in the house. Always charge new batteries before they are used to get a solid first “fill” of electricity, aligning the molecules and so forth. The linked item may seem flimsy, but it is the industry standard device.

For vaping without using a battery, you will want at least one passthrough which plugs into a USB power port, which is more powerful than a USB charging port which is often found. These may be safely used with your computer. You can use a passthrough with a powered USB hub. The use of passthroughs in automobiles depends on the power of the ports provided, typically and with a certain irony, often in a cigarette-lighter-type outlet with USB adapter. You cannot power the passthrough with the wall charger above.

Once you have your passthrough, batteries, chargers and clearos, you need the actual elixir to vape. This is called juice, e-juice, vape juice, vaping liquid and lots of other things. All it is is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or both with the addition of flavorings and optional nicotine. Nicotine is available in 6, 12, 18, 24 and rarely 32 mg/ml. 18 mg/ml or sometimes “1.8% solution”, is analogous to a mainstream, middle-of-the-road cigarette. 6 an ultra-light, 32 for a filterless Pall Mall or Camel. A former heavy smoker should start with a 24mg/ml or 2.4% solution. You are encouraged to purchase juice from the above mentioned website. These same juices are readily available throughout the western world. You may also buy juice locally from your local vape boutique. Some “adult gift shops”, what we used to call head shops, have mass-produced juice available. Many vendors are emerging who specialize in selling juice via internet. I have a particular fondness for Mt. Baker Vapor due to their price, quality and variety. Wherever you buy start with the popular RY4 and 555 tobacco blends, but you will quickly discover flavors unlike tobacco which suit you. The flavor varieties may be endless.

Happy vaping. Your putting up with smoking days may soon be over.

* On Saturday, October 12, I was performing the bimonthly quasi-deep clean of my humble home. Behind a freestanding cabinet I discovered what I presumed was a poorly discarded, empty packet of Pall Mall cigarettes. There were two inside of which I did not dispose. In lieu of my now usual vape break, within an hour, I decided to have a more conventional smoke break. The cigarette, my brand, smelled of chemicals and rotting hay. Within minutes I had developed a headache and was somewhat nauseated. The second cigarette was thrown out the moment I got out of bed.

White Paper: What is big tobacco doing in the electronic-cigarette market?

Tuesday, 1 October, 2013

This is the result of an afternoon’s clicking around and should not be relied upon to make future decisions particularly regarding investments or lifestyle choices.

What follows is a summation of activities by the largest tobacco companies in the world, with a focus on the American market, and their presence or absence in the growing electronic-cigarette or personal-vaporizer marketplace.

Lorillard purchased the plurality of Blu in April and is promoting the system aggressively. Each Blu cart is said to be analogous to two packs of cigarettes and features 18mg/ml of nicotine in the juice or fluid. The carts are sold five at a time. The juice for Blu is manufactured by Johnson Creek, the retail-distribution leader in the juice industry. Johnson Creek has their own upscaled system, Vea, competing in the hobbyist/cartomizer market.

Reynolds-American offers Vuse which appears to be internally developed. It is a standard “cig-alike” system not compellingly different from Blu which is presently available in Colorado and North Carolina. The national roll out should be within weeks. Vuse “systems” and “solos” are the only product of its kind manufactured in the United States. A novel feature of the Vuse is an additional indicator for when the device is low on fluid. Vuse has a physically larger battery. The carts are sold in pairs. Each cart is analogous to one pack of cigarettes. The Vuse juice may be stronger, but the packaging is not so labeled. Vuse marketing and packaging compulsively and strangely use the words “tobacco” and “digital”. The indicator light changes from white to red as the battery depletes. This is not a functional improvement over other systems, but will add a feature for promotional purposes. The flavor is universally panned, but may be fixed before national distribution.

Swisher Int’l has a line of disposables and kits, e-Swisher. They are not distinctive in any way. Since Swisher is primarily a cigar company, they may have the flavor issue worked out. The fluid is 18mg/ml.

Each of the above is based on the 808 electrical connection, rather than the 510 (aka eGo of the hobbyist vapers), and come with 1 or 2 180-200 mAh batteries. That is about 12% of what gets a hardened user through the day. The carts for each of these have an MSRP of about $3/ea. Therefore Vuse is twice as expensive over time than Blu. Comparisons between e-Swisher and cigarettes is not available. Cartomizer or loose juice runs about $1.20 for the equivilent of a cart, or under forty cents for value-priced juice.

Altria (aka Philip Morris USA) is developing a technology based on dissolving tobacco somehow with enzymes intended to compete with the personal vaporizers branded Mark Ten. Attempts to study the process in question were unsuccessful due to your compiler’s relative ignorance of biochemistry. Expect this in 2015, with a trial in the state of Indiana next year. Philip Morris International is a seperate, but US-based, company which does not distribute products in North America.

British American Tobacco is financing the development of a variation on the asthma inhaler to deliver nicotine in a potentially different type of solution than common e-juice. This product will not be electric, inhalation activated, and is cigarette sized and shaped. It is unclear whether this will deliver warm product or be flavored. No pricing or strength information is known. Not much in the way of press about its development. Kind Consumer, the actual developer of this device, claims they have been working on it since 2004.

Liggett and Xcaliber [sic] have no plans to enter the market. Both are value-brand tobacco marketers.

Imperial Tobacco is purchasing outright the e-cigarette portfolio of Hong Kong-based Dragonite Int’l, the present name of Ruyan Group creators of the personal vaporizer and manufacturers of Dekang e-juices. The price according to the article is $75 million, presumably denominated in euros, RMB or pounds. That seems low, especially if the deal includes the patents, which is not addressed. No product announcements are readily available. This may be the business deal of the century.

The CEO of Dragonite is the former pharmacist who invented the PV in 2003. However PVs and juices are only one aspect of the company. He may be washing his hands of the e-cig business.

Japan Tobacco signed a deal in June to distribute, outside NA, the products of San Francisco-based Ploom, makers of the most prominent brand of another kind of vaporizer, the dry herb vaporizer. JTI does not have a formal presence in the US and minimal presence in the EU. Speculation: This deal will focus on Ploom’s Model Two and Ploom Pods system for vaporizing actual tobacco.

Ploom is marketing their Model Two in the US now, including their own-brand pods of tobacco. The source for this tobacco is unclear. Ploom is marketing the product to gadget enthusiasts and through its existing system of retail outlets. Retail pod availability is unclear. The Ploom Model Two has an MSRP of $40 with a starter kit including four tobacco pods and a carrying case for $65. The battery may not be user-replaceable. Pods cost $9/12 and come in six varieties. A pod contains less tobacco than 5 cigarettes but is alleged to last as long. Therefore the pods are slightly more expensive than Blu, but cheaper than Vuze on a dose-for-dose basis.

Considering the corporate and licensing tie-up between BAT, RAI and JTI it is possible that their seperate systems may appear in markets beyond those of their introduction. Would Ploom, the smart pothead’s choice, market a device or pods with Natural American Spirit, Winston, Salem, Kool, Dunhill, 555, Lucky Strike or Vuze branding in the US? I suspect so. The markets are distinct.

Will Ploom’s pods be licenseable so that products other than tobacco may be distributed in Colorado, California, Washington state and similar places? Are the aluminum pods simple enough the users may fill their own with empties or refills which are not yet known to be available.

In 2010, in the US, the personal-vaporizer market was too small to measure. As of June ’13 it represented 5-6% of adult nicotine users. The market is still smaller than those who chew or use snus and do not smoke, 11-12%. The vaping market is larger than those who assemble their own cigarettes which is under, possibly well under, 2%.

The following is a list of electronic-cigarette-system brands distributed in the US with no known connection to tobacco companies. These names are provided in the interest of displaying the breadth of this industry. Research on these companies is beyond the scope of this paper. This list is not comprehensive.

South Beach Smoke, Eversmoke, Green Smoke, SmokeTip, Prosmoke, V2, Vapor4Life, Apollo Cig, Cirrus, Ozone Smoke, Njoy, Eversmoke, Premium, White Cloud, Pure, Eluna, Bull Smoke, Volcano, Smokeless Image, Bedford Slims, Vapor King, EonSmoke, Zero Cig, Cloud 9, eSmoke, Firebrand, SafeCig, SmokeStik, Victory, Smoke 51, Nutricigs, ProSmoke, NikStick, Revolver, Crown Seven, M9, Noble, Vapor Couture, Frii, Square, NeverLightAgain, Metro, Krave, EZ Smoker

More on Cambox

Wednesday, 18 September, 2013

Two things are now clear. The edit box and the portable box must be separate devices. The two goals are simply incompatible without prohibitive cost. That said, a “gaming laptop” with a smaller form factor, which I don’t believe exists, would be fine for the portable unit, save the “Edison Carter” aspect, especially in the USB 3.0 era.

The edit box requires no fewer than seven hard drives, they need not be especially large, but must be set as two RAID-10 devices with an additional drive for the OS, settings, applications, etc. Having tapped into where the people who are making a living at this are talking about it, I now know, despite earlier impressions, the actual editing and processing of video is entirely processor-based. One still requires a monstrously fast video subsystem (by my standards) just to watch what’s going on. Like the drives, one needs to have a lot of memory sticks even though these need no be especially large. 4x4GB as a minimum, with 8x8GB bring ideal. The edit box would, of course, be overkill for live camming and therefore perfect as long as one is not moving around. Portability is key with what ideas I’ve had over the last year or so. This may effect the actual execution.

I am contemplating the possibility of using another kind of camera than a “webcam”, in hopes of avoiding an inevitably flat image. This is a whole other challenge, and may not be worthwhile. The serious hobbyists are moving toward shooting videos with DSLRs, although I may not be able to withstand the purchase of lenses that actually make this an improvement over a Logitech 920c or GoPro in the final product.

My plan is to store finished video presentations on an external device. Speed is less of an issue here. I intend to outline the essential philosophy of the device over the next few days.

About the Cambox.

Monday, 9 September, 2013

I’ve spent some time over the last couple of weekends taking notes and doing some research on a device I’m calling the Cambox. I am either imprisoned or freed in my ignorance of the current state of consumer-level computing technology.

Once I kept up with that sort of thing, but since buying a time-bomb iMac in late 2007, I just have not bothered. As you might imagine the world has moved on without me over the last six years. Many name brands I do not recognize. Really.

I am investigating the Rivendell open-source, all-in-one system intended to automate radio stations independently and without cost. The manipulation of live video, and the devices one could use for such has been a subject of study for at least a couple of years. Romantically, I would love for the devices to operate on linux, perhaps evolving into a distribution intended for this specific purpose, but given the state of video manipulation after all these years this appears highly unlikely. With the cost, dependability (of late) and inflexible nature of Apple hardware it’s use appears unreasonable for this idea. We’re stuck with Windows.

Instead of posting specific plans, I shall outline the technical objectives of the device. I am also quite interested in suggestions to achieve the objective outlined below. Cambox is a reasonably priced, ideally under $700 in parts although this appears unlikely, specifically “tuned” to accomplish the following through hardware or software.

  • A live, 720 pixel-high (or more) video feed, via Flash or similar, through either ethernet, or wifi for remote broadcasting.
  • Enough processing overhead to readily composite images live, supers, titles, chroma key, generating images on the fly such as visuals inspired by music which is playing, having guests on cam through Skype or similar, and so on.
  • The ability to cope with feeds from up to four full-motion video cameras at full resolution and switch on the fly, possibly automatically. I can’t imagine needing more than four, and with the assumption such cameras will not have on-board processing like the Logitech 920C or a Chinese-sourced “action camera”.
  • The ability for guests to “call in” to a live broadcast, possibly even through a telephone of all things, with calls held in cue until ready for air.
  • Cue. Audio in cue is something I can’t quite work out just yet.
  • Full video-editing suite on a common application.
  • Disk arrays which will permit extremely quick processing of edited video and creation of ISO images
  • The device should be workable from one monitor, even if that is not ideal, and configured in such a way that it is readily portable. The ability to broadcast remotely is critical, even if it shall be plugged in. Think about broadcasting from cars, city parks, relatively remote areas presumably within 4G range, night clubs, bars, coffee shops, possibly even “where the news happens” and so forth.
  • A software solution that displays artist and title information of songs being played on iTunes, Songbird or similar, possibly even from streaming audio from Pandora, Icecast or similar.
  • a virtual audio board, or equivalent, that sends audio through Flash or another communication-device stream which is more flexible than live audio through Stereo Mix native to MS Windows.
  • related to the virtual audio board would be a virtual jingle box, an array of buttons that you can hit and the jingle, theme, ad, music, announcement just plays without any additional configuring.
  • The input of audio or video through dedicated, that is not split, USB ports, or something better than USB which is yet to be determined … or invented.

The most looming question I have, which I can’t seem to wring out of the internet, is the use of higher-end video cards and how they relate to both video manipulation, rather then display, and the use of these cards for generating images, editing and so forth. Which packages, if any, push editing to the graphics subsystem? Would the addition of a second graphics card be fruitful?

A related development would be what I have long called The Edison Carter device, after the lead character of the television show Max Headroom which permits proper, professional “webcasting” at a moment’s notice from a device or system of devices which may be readily carried on one’s person, possibly discretely. This would include directional audio, the ability to somehow generate titles or other supers, providing an option for supplementary or replacement audio other than live (think “test card music”) and going to a test pattern or card if things get out of hand, such as nudity, gruesome accident, boredom, &c.

Another development would be a device which is a dedicated automotive unit for broadcasting with multiple cams, quality audio, possibly even integrating the audio system within the car itself (think about local radio), yet with absolutely minimal intervention from the operator (presumably the driver of the car) once the system is active. Potentially with titles automatically working out the name of the jurisdiction from which one is broadcasting, specific coordinates, and the local time and time zone. I imagine something not unlike a live travelogue within the confines of a mundane vehicle and transmitting over the 4G network. An example of this is the many over-the-road adventures of the programme Top Gear or Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but done live, and ideally operated by a single person.

All live programs should default to being processed and recorded on the device while happening for future reference, especially replay, editing or uploading to Youtube, Dailymotion or similar.

Radio, the vast wasteland revisited

Sunday, 14 July, 2013

I am presently reminded that Newton N. Minow’s vast wasteland was in fact television, and not commercial broadcasting in its entirety. This editorial gaffe shall not be corrected largely because I can’t think of a better title.

By which is meant information relayed in audio form from a central point, electrically encoded on a specific frequency, which may be received by a mass audience equipped with electrical receivers designed for this purpose.

By which is not meant music streaming services, automated or otherwise, or the relay of similar programming via internet, satellite, wire or as a carrier on another airwave service.

Read more…

Vegan Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

Friday, 5 April, 2013

in CCM’s role as a binding agent in casseroles and such. This is the same sauce as Stan’s Vegan Macaroni Casserole, but a half portion without spices.

2 cups unadulterated, no sugar or additional flavorings, soy milk

¾ cup “vegetable oil”, typically soy, corn, canola or a blend

1-2 Tbsp crushed, grated or granulated garlic

½ Tbsp sea or table salt

1 cup nutritional yeast

Dump these ingredients in a blender and go to town.

Slice, grate, julienne, &c. an assortment of fresh vegetables which compliment one another. This is entirely up to the chef. Add onion and/or bell peppers for additional flavoring. Enough to not quite fill a 9×12 pan.

Add spices or dried herbs which compliment your vegetables to the slurry. Again, this is entirely up to the cook. Drag out the whole spice rack and see what inspires.

Pour the slurry over the vegetables. Generally, distribution by hand is not required. It seems like not quite enough fluid, but the vegetables will weep fluid as they bake.

Top with dried herb, sprinkle with spice or don’t do anything. I don’t care. You’re the one who has to eat this.

Bake at 350 for 50-75 minutes. Different combinations of veggies produce differing quantities of fluid. Bake until light to golden brown. Upon serving this may be a nice firm casserole or it might be better described as a really thick stew, but it’s hard to go wrong.

Try eggplant, yellow squash and tomatoes. How about potatoes, carrots and spinach or even greens? You could do what I do and become inspired by whatever’s on sale that week and some other veggies to compliment.

Stan’s Vegan Macaroni Casserole

Friday, 5 April, 2013

which needs a snazzier name.

This is based on Soul Vegetarian’s Vegan Mac and Cheese. After a year or so of playing with it. This is what I tend to actually make.

1 qt. unadulterated, no sugar or additional flavorings, soy milk

1½ cups “vegetable oil”, typically soy, corn, canola or a blend

2-3 Tbsp crushed, grated or granulated garlic

13.25-16 oz whole-wheat macaroni (a box) boiled for six minutes. The desired texture is undercooked, not even al dente. Let the pasta cool. Typically I cool the pasta under a spray of cold water from the tap.

Dry ingredients, place these ingredients together in a bowl.

1 Tbsp each, Cumin, Dry Mustard, Paprika, Sea Salt

½ Tbsp Ginger

2 cups nutritional yeast.

Slop the soy milk into a blender. On medium speed pour the oil through the lid with the insert removed. Add garlic which will mince further and flavor the sauce well.

While still spinning, place a funnel into the top of the blender and spoon your dry ingredients into the soy and oil. You want a very thorough blend. Let it spin after the dry ingredients are in for an extra minute or two. This mixture will look more orange than you think it should. It will also be bubbly or well aerated. This is okay.

Place the mac in a 9×12 pan. Pour in your slurry and distribute well by hand. The first thing you will note is that it just doesn’t seem like enough macaroni. That’s okay.

Optional: Sprinkle with parsley flake, garlic salt and/or black pepper.

This stores well for up to 24 hours refrigerated and uncovered, but is ready to bake immediately. If kept cold, move directly from the ‘fridge to a pre-heated oven.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. It will keep warm after baking for up to two hours.


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