Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wow, I guess I suck at this whole blogger thing.

June of last year. That was the last time I posted.

School becomes this all-consuming entity in my life from late September to early June. Being a single mom and a full time student, on top of attempting to create a life outside of it all to maintain my sanity is a lot to say the absolute least. However, I think it's spaces like this that I take for granted. There has been so much that I could have brought to this page as a new vegan. I think I just celebrated a year this month. Well, the start of this blog was the start of my veganism. Aw... <3

I think I wasn't really sure what I wanted to put in this space. Food, life... Whatever. Being vegan this past year has been some what predictable. The questions, the accusations, THE SAME QUESTIONS, a new found love for cooking, new ideals and values, joining a lively community of people like me, it all has been interesting.

I think what brought me back here today was that I'm cutting wheat & gluten out of my diet. I've been tossing around this idea for the past 6 months after my grandmother and 2 of her daughters were thought to have celiac. I've always had troubles with digesting wheat & gluten. I have had a few week runs over this past 6 months where I gave it a go and the results were incredible! I felt amazing! I don't know what keeps bringing me back, but I fall back into the wheat game and I'm miserable again.

With summer coming, I don't have the distraction of school messing with my attempts at getting this right! Summer is where I acheive my resolutions.

So... I'm day 1ish of no wheat, no gluten... and feeling good about getting this to stick. I just need to remember that This is like that whole vegan chapter I opened up. It took a lot of research for me to understand what I needed to do for myself. I can do this. I've done it before!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ah, the thrift store gods are smiling down on me!

One of my favorite things about my local co-op is the bulk foods section which I have recently started taking advantage of. I find buying certain things in bulk  (beans, lentils, rice, flour, nutritional yeast, pasta... geez, what else) saves a ton when you are on a budget like I am. If you have the discipline to do things like soak the beans over night, etc. I highly recommend joining in the bulk party. You don't know what you're missing!

So as I'm frolicking through this new land of bulk, I'm realizing, okay wow.. I need stuff to store everything in. I'm not the type of person that can have things stored in plastic bags and there not be a mess, explosion, whatever. I'm just kind of a disaster sometimes.

I had a couple empty jars that I got all cleaned off and have been using them for my nutritional yeast, and some mint & lemon thyme from my garden that I had dried. I was going to need something a bit bigger for my beans, lentils, and rice...

That ment that it was adventure day, and I was just going to have to ravage my local thrift store for some wicked sweet deals.

Here's what I scored:

-6 storage jars (99 cents each!!)
-two big enormo jars, one for my brown rice elbow pasta and one for my WWh flour
-some book about veggie gardening
-a Braggs apple cider vinegar book (rad)


-a friggin juicer

I got everything home and cleaned. People.. I'm loving my storage jars. I'm going to take some pics tonight of my treasures and post them Monday.

Okay, did I mention I found a juicer??!! As much as it pains me that more people don't realize how awesome juicers are, rarely use them, then give them away, I have to say that I wasn't that upset when I found it in front of me for $15. It's a Juiceman Jr. and it's in fab condition. My daughter and I tested it out that night, and I approve. It's been my goal to increase the amount of raw foods I eat/drink daily. Juicing fruits and veggies is a great way to do it!

So after my total score at the thrift store, I really wanted to get some books on juicing. I picked up 3, which I will have to post later (I'm at Border's right now) when I put up pics of my finds.

I also managed to pick up another vegan source book called, well The Vegan Sourcebook by Joanne Stepaniak. I have a copy of Becoming Vegan but it's on it's way back to my school's library. I found this book for $8 used... EIGHT. DOLLARS. I'm a lover of information. Anything, give it to me. So when I finally made the commitment to veganism... a month and a half ago? I wanted to understand everything about it. Books like Becoming Vegan and The Vegan Sourcebook, are wonderful to have when you are wanting to know more about the nutrition, ethics, and lifestyle of veganism. You can buy all the cookbooks you want, but until you take the time to learn about why people all over the world practice veganism, you just won't get it. Sorry. It's so much more than knowing how to cook without animal products.

If you are vegetarian, or curious about veganism, then I highly suggest Vegan Freak: Being Vegan In A Non-Vegan World. Just go out and get it. NOW!

Okay, okay.. I'll leave you with that! More soon!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Heeellllooooo! New books for mama!

Oh wow. I have to apologize for my absence! I've just finished my last quarter of community college this week, and the past month has been just hellish. BUT I'M DONE! DONE DONE DONE DONE!!!

My only sanity has been a couple new vegan books that I've been feeling fortunate to have bought. The first I have to praise and worship, and worship some more:

This is the revised second edition. I'm about half way through it, but after reading the first couple pages I was hooked. There's one way to reel me in: Facts & Humor. This has both, so here I am! After reading Becoming Vegan (which the authors of Vegan Freak recommend for all your dietary questions and intake info) I wanted another book that got to the heart of veganism. It's not just about cupcakes, people (okay, I bought a cupcake book too.. But we'll get to that!!), for those of you that are new to veganism, or are curious as to what it's all about, this book is a great way to learn about the cause. Did I mention they authors have a sense of humor?? All I'm saying, I get to the part about celebrities & veganism and I almost pissed myself.

Both authors have their Ph. D. and cite resources... THANK YOU. Citing resources makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, for real. Apparently some people didn't like this about their first edition.. wtf, yo? WHY?? They are basically tell you that they haven't pulled this information out of thin air, and also that they are professional enough to give credit where credit it due. I don't know, maybe I've been writing too many research papers this year, but nothing makes me feel like I'm eating mystery meat more than information that isn't cited.

Okay, remember when I made that snarky cupcake remark?

BAM!!! Yeah, that's right. I know everyone knows about this book, brought to us by the fab authors of Vegan With A Vengeance. So as I mentioned I'm graduating from community college this week, and am planning a party later in the month to celebrate. Don't ask me why, but I knew I wanted cupcakes instead of a cake.

My daughter saw this book so we pulled it from the shelf and flipped through it briefly before deciding that it would do that job! This book is radical. I've never really been to keen on what flour is best for what, or if shortening is better than margarine, but this book outlines it all. It's a wee book, but really, once you get some basic recipes down, you will feel comfortable jazzing up your own!

That's all for now! I'm ready to relax for a bit before my graduation ceremony on Friday! 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Menu for 5/15!

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes w/ Vanilla Soymilk Smoothie

Lunch: Tofu Spring Rolls w/ peanut sauce & Iced Green Tea

Dinner: Churizo, Brown Rice & Bell Peppers wrapped in Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas w/ Tofu Sour Cream

*pose* Sup?

Crunk Ma PB Cookies

This morning Violet and I were up bright and early. After breakfast we were ready to get down to some serious cookie making. I had seen a recipe for vanilla vegan cookies in my The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook and they seemed like they would be yummy!

....Well I don't know what the hell happened. They just didn't 'wow' me. Once we got them out of the oven and cooled them, they were these flat, thin disks (I'm talking like 3 sheets of paper thin). *insert sad face*

I was on a mission. I was going to make DELICIOUS vegan cookies today and I wanted them to be soft & chewy, and this time around I wanted peanut butter!! *stamps foot*

I've had this PB cookie recipe for a while and it makes those softy & chewy pb cookies I love. I wondered if it would be just as amazing using soy milk and egg replacer. People, the answer is a thousand times YES!

Here is the recipe:

3/4 c. chunky peanut butter
1/2 stick or c. of all-vegetable shortening
1 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. soy milk (I used unsweetened and they still turned out great)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Follow the instructions on your egg replacer to make the equivalent of 1 egg!
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Turbinado sugar for sprinklin'

Preheat your oven to 375 deg.

Combine PB, shortening, brown sugar, soy milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. With an electric mixer beat at medium speed (if you are a hardcore baker and do it by hand, hats off) until well blended. Add your 'egg', then in a separate bowl combine your sugar, baking soda, and salt. Then while mixing on a low speed, slowly add your dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix until blended.

Drop large rounded tablespoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet, giving them about 2-in space between each ball. Make a criss-cross pattern on the ball, pressing down with a fork. Sprinkle a small amount of your turbinado sugar on the top of your cookies and put in the oven for 7-8 minutes! Cookies should cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling racks.

BAM! These lil' guys right here made up for the vanilla cookie disappointment. BIG TIME. Our batch made a little over two dozen. Enjoy this one!!

P.S.!!!! So I noticed in the picture that there is a stick of butter in the background. Don't worry, none of it went in the cookies. It's still sitting there since my official transition into veganism (which was the beginning of this month). I haven't had the heart to just throw it out, it seems like such a waste! I packed up all my non-vegan stuff and am giving it to a friend of mine. This just hasn't found a home yet..

Nice little Saturday dinner!

I was feeling pretty lazy tonight for dinner and wanted something that Violet and I could curl up to. I had picked up some organic brown rice pasta at Trader Joe's as well as their organic basil tomato sauce. In the water went the pasta, and into the sauce pan went the sauce along with some TVP I had pre-made last night.

Then of course my fav right now, Dave's Killer Bread, and....

*drum roll*

TA DA!! This hit the spot! V cleaned her plate and I was tempted to have seconds. I was glad that I made a big batch because this is going to be my go-to for left-over-night.

I've been craving baby bok choy so I think I'm going to head down to the market on Thursday with Violet to pick some up. I'm trying to really sit down and plan out some more meals. I picked up some vegan chirizo (sp) which I'm dying to try, plus I'm doing food inventory tomorrow so I can get a better idea of what I'm working with.

FOR SURE in the morn Violet and I are making vegan blueberry pancakes. :D

Blog & pics tomorrow!!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Right now I'm in the process of retiring my camera and upgrading to a new one. The pics that I've taken of my food is actually done on my cell phone. I basically do what I can with the pics in Photoshop to make them a little easier on the eyes.

Hopefully soon I can get some pics that have a bit more depth and quality.

Hang in there people! I'm still new at this!