Feelin’ the Vegan Love at Whole Foods (Vegan MoFo 8)

After Little Breeches had her wonderful homeschool creative movement class today, we were both hungry. Not that I exerted any energy waiting on her as I sat in the lovely sun room and got a chance to talk to a lovely friend! Little B asked to go to Whole Foods for lunch, “Because we can find so many good things to eat there!”. Indeed!

Of course when you walk in you are immediately greeted by an amazing array of organic produce! I found some lovely ingredients for meal ideas right off the bat. Green monster smoothies? Why yes, I think I will! And here’s beautiful kale just for that!

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After nabbing a few things we headed over to the deli section. My kid grabs a plate and gets right to it! Funny the looks she gets when we’re there on a weekday anyway. Makes me what to make her a t-shirt that says, “I’m not home from school because I’m sick. My class room is the world!”. Too cheeky? Maaaaaaaybe. Folks always give her the googly eyes when they see her piling her plate with healthy fruit and veg items. I love it!

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We have also become quite addicted to their General Tso’s Vegan Chicken. This stuff is amazing!

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On the way to eat our delicious finds, I saw this tantalizing little sign in the Sizzler area:

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Must go back for dinner soon! Sounds amazing!

My lunch:

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Lunch for Little Breeches:

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We were two very satisfied vegans as we walked out today!

Oh and I almost forgot! Our check out clerk asked if we were vegan. She is a lovely gal named Aries who told us how, she too, is vegan. She is teaching some vegan cooking classes this month, and has a vegan magazine and blog! Most cool! Vegans Represent!

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Last Minute Weeknight Meal (Vegan MoFo 7)

Meal planning sounds so neat, doesn’t it? I have a friend who plans for her family of five for an entire month! A freakin’ month! She’s a goddess, but I digress…

I try, I really try. And this one time…I stuck to it for an entire week! Man, I was SO proud! Yeah, of course it only happened once, but I do aspire to do it again!

This week I had some really great ideas planned, even stuck to the grocery list over the weekend.

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As per usual, our chaotic lovely life threw my plan into a spiral. We decided to go enjoy this stellar weather with friends. What a fine reason to not be home cooking! So I rolled with it, hit the fridge and pantry to see what I could find.

Chickpeas! Sweet! Tofu, oh yeah! Rice? Sure!

We love to sauté chickpeas in olive oil, salt and freshly cracked pepper. So good! Give ‘em a rinse, throw them in the old cast iron skillet….

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And ta-da!

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Tofu time! Slice, soak in some tamari, coat in bread crumbs, sauté away!

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And now the rice! Little Breeches and I suffer from a very common condition found in vegans nation wide: Nooch Addiction. Her favorite Nooch vehicle? Rice. I had some extra rice one day and decided to Nooch it up and the accolades from my kid were many. Dang, I AM good every once in a while!

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I take freshly steamed rice, toss it in with some Earth’s Balance, bit o’ salt and some Nooch and it’s on! Add some carrot coins and some frozen (yeah, I said frozen…the girl is addicted!) green beans and my kiddo was one stoked little vegan!

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I’m totally going to rock that pumpkin French toast next week, but until then Little Breeches and I are satisfied with our quick little impromptu meal. Hold the frozen beaners on mine though! Blech!

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Weekend Fun (Vegan MoFo 6)

This gallery contains 12 photos.

I suppose since the theme of my blog is life in our homeschoolin’ vegan family, this post is a fitting view of our weekend in pictures. We fit fun with friends, shopping, meal planning, apple picking, traveling and even some … Continue reading

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From The Pantry Pot Pie (Vegan MoFo 5)

I’ve posted about this recipe before when it was in its wee tiny testing phase. But it’s so stinkin’ good and so stinkin’ simple it has made my whole day so much easier…and I had to post it again!

We had a full day of hound walkin’, homeschoolin’ and home cleanin’. As Little Breeches was working on her math, I decided to throw together something easy for dinner, knowing after we got back from our area homeschool park day…I would feel like having a full evenin’ of arse sittin’.

My girls.

Said Hound To Be Walked and Said Child To Be Schooled

The recipe is from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester. The book is great! I was proud to test for it and honestly use it quite a bit.

After letting our seitan and veggies cook while we were running amuck on the playground, it was time to mix up the biscuits for our pot pie! Dropped in their yummy bath, it was time to crank my slow cooker up to 11 and try to be patient for 30 minutes. It was TOUGH!

Biscuit dough ready for the slow cooker sauna.

Biscuit dough ready for the slow cooker sauna.

Well butter my butt and call me one happy vegan, this looks amazing! (Ok, I admit it ya’ll, I totally have a biscuit addiction. There. I said it.)

Shut the front door!  Vegan biscuits in the slow cooker!?!

Shut the front door! Vegan biscuits in the slow cooker!?!

Yuppers. TOTALLY worth having on our usual dinner rotation! What a treat on this fall evening!

From the Pantry Pot Pie

Dinner Delightful

Here be the linky to the recipe ya’ll! Enjoy!

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Grandma Mary’s Zucchini Bread (Vegan MoFo 4)

My Grandmother was a very industrious woman. She could make something amazing out of so little. She raised a family on a shoestring and her creativity. Her garden was always so beautiful, her house neat as a pin, and her feet were on the move keeping up with five kids, and later as a Grandma running after her grandkids on a very busy farm in the Midwest.

I was lucky enough to inherit many of her recipes. It’s a way to honor her memory and share stories with my daughter. Every time we see zinnias anywhere, Little Breeches now says, “Just like the ones around Great Grandma Mary’s Garden!”. I love it!

Last week I pulled the very last zucchini from our little garden and my mind immediately went back to the farm.

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I remember my grandparents being overrun with veggies at the end of the summer, zucchini being very prolific. Grandma came up with so many uses for that veggie! We loved her fried zucchini slices, zucchini brownies and of course zucchini bread! So I nabbed Little Breeches and got to telling her the story, and got to shredding the zucchini.

(Now this recipe did win at the county fair [or so I hear] and it is old school. Be prepared to use a lot of sugar and oil!)

20121011-113331.jpgThis is Grandma’s grater!

Grandma Mary’s Zucchini Bread (Veganized)

2 cups sugar (unrefined of course)
EnerG Egg replacer for 3 eggs. (You could also use ground flax seed and water beaten.)
1 cup canola oil
3 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour (depends on the moisture in the zucchini)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 nuts (optional, Grandma used pecans)

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Beat together the first four ingredients. Combine the next five ingredients and add to the first mixture. Add grated zucchini and nuts (if using).

20121011-115127.jpgOk, I totally got excited and dumped the zucchini in early here…but it worked.

Bake in 2 greased and floured loaf pans at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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I want you guys to know this house was smelling soooooo GOOD!

Little Breeches gave this tasty bread a score of one gazillion plus one hundred fifty! Her Daddy came home and ate damn near the entire loaf! The other loaf we sent to our sweet neighbors who gave Little Breeches a huge bag of hand-me-downs. They were also fans!

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I hope you get a chance to try this recipe. It’s so moist and divine. Plus you’ll get to have the chance to taste some of my Grandma’s handy work in a way!

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Tempeh Stir Fry Goodness (Vegan MoFo 3)

Tempeh, oh how good you are for us! Tofu’s cool cousin is chock full of nutrition and my husband loves it. Pretty good for an omni who eats as a vegan at home. (Poor guy, outnumbered by two very vocal vegan chicks!)

I admit that when I went vegan (after 17 years as a vegetarian) I was a novice to fixin’ tempeh. Now I use it for pizza, “sausage” gravy, “bacon” and savory dishes. My husband loves a good stir fry, and after many experiments I came up with a recipe that the man really digs…the kiddo does too!

Tempeh Stir Fry:

2 packs of Tempeh cut into small rectangles

Steam tempeh for 10 minutes. While your tempeh is in the sauna, get to mixing your yummy braising liquid/sauce.

In a glass bowl mix together the following:

1/2 cup Tamari
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Zest
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Tbsp Minced Ginger

After steaming, I let the tempeh bathe in the yummy liquid to soak while I work on my veggies.

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Tonight we I used the following veggies, but you could use whatever you have in your crisper.

1/2 onion cut into petals
1 green pepper sliced
Mushrooms sliced

Stir fry the above in 1 Tbsp Canola Oil until just browning.

I also had broccoli florets, so I steamed them until they were almost fork tender.

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Set veggies aside with broccoli.

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Transfer tempeh and sauce bath to your hot skillet and crank up on high for five minutes.

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Add veggies to pan, continue to braise the whole shebang for another five minutes.

I like to thicken the sauce, and to do that I make a slurry of 1Tbsp Arrowroot powder in 1/4 cup cold water.

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Let pan come back up to the boil and let it bubble until your sauce is thick and yummy!

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It is so on! Serve with steamed rice, Top with peanuts if you like, and Sriratcha of course! You could add crushed hot pepper to the sauce to your taste, but having a short pants like we do…we usually add the heat after.

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Enjoy ya’ll!

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Saturday Biscuits and Gravy (Vegan MoFo 2)

So last night was the Khaki Ball. My first entree into the world of the dressed up US Naval Chief’s Mess (that’s not a dig, they really call it “The Mess”). It was a late night for all of us, Little Breeches having gone out to dinner with our friend John and then to his house for a movie marathon.

This morning when we got up, I needed a cuppa the size of my head and had a hankering for biscuits and gravy. Once properly caffeinated I set to work.

I’ve mentioned The Veganomicon before, and once again it proves to be a go-to for me. The first recipe I tried was for Leek & Bean Cassoulet. An immediate hit and now a regular player for our cold weather meal plans. The Biscuits from that recipe are perfect! I now use them any time I have a craving for hot, flaky, yummy bearers of melted Earth’s Balance and gravy. If I’m feelin’ high falutin I’ll roll them out. Sometimes I’ll freeze them on a baking sheet and then toss them in a freezer bag for those mornings when I’m recovering from an all nighter of birthing youngins at work.

Today I dropped them on the pan, tucked them in the oven and got working my gravy.

Gathering my ingredients:

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Yes that’s totally Nooch in my cookie jar! It’s THAT good!

Oh, and I always use “Better Than Bouillon” from Superior Touch any time a recipe calls for broth. It’s a concentrated product that yields a ton of rich and savory broth.

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Gravy. An idea foreign to me. Never liked it. As a kid I remember my mom attempting to make it (omni of course) and it always seemed to get the better of her, poor dear. So many years later and here I am, vegan and rocking the best gravy ever! (Admittedly, I am the least expert but I’m going to brag like a saucier.)

My friend Meg turned me on to this gravy from Veg Web. Impressively called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vegan Gravy“, this recipe has fooled many an omni friend. In fact, I brought it to a Thanksgiving pot luck last year and it was gone before the turkey gravy was!

Just as the biscuits were ready, my gravy had come together. It is so stinkin’ easy!

Hello!

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Oh and here are my lovely piping hot biscuits!

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So fluffy and ready to make me happy!

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Can’t type any more…must….devour…vegan….goodness….

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My First Vegan MoFo!

Life. It’s busy. So many times throughout my days I find myself constantly prioritizing with an imaginary list above my head like a Sims character! The items in my list whirl around battling for first position. It’s enough to make one dizzy. With homeschool lessons for my 6 year old lovely girl, a very needy horse of a coonhound, a busy active duty military husband, a homeschool co-op where I teach American Sign Language, my attempt to test recipes for a wonderful vegan cookbook author...you get the idea.

I’ve always enjoyed anything the PPK girls do. When I first became a born again vegetarian, our dear friends Marnie and Scott gave us a copy of the Veganomicon. It became my bible for all things vegan. I dove head first into attempting recipes. My very supportive omni husband enjoyed the recipes and even told me he wished I had made the change years ago.

Vegan MoFo is something I’ve enjoyed for a long time. All of those cool vegans doing fabulous things! Well this year I pulled my big girl panties up and joined up! My life being as chaotic as many are, may not allow time for the full 20 posts for the Vegan Month of Food but I’m sure going to try!

I had fully intended to begin posting on Monday. Monday is Homeschool Co-Op day. A day filled with fun classes and making life-long friends. When we got home, we were both wiped and feeling less than energetic. We we were talking about what recipes and activities I remember from my childhood. One of my favorites was when Mom would make me Teddy Bear bread. The recipe came in a book with Fleischmann’s Yeast back in the days of the Original Electric Company (when I first knew Morgan Freeman was the coolest of cats). Fast forward to my doing a quick interwebs search for the recipe , we veganized the ingredients and away we went!

Here is the little darling after we practiced our fractions when dividing the dough and rolling it into the appropriately sized balls.

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He’s all proofed and ready for his sun tan!

After his warm nap, and a cooling time out, we were all smiles with the result!

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We did have to have a little talk about her feelings regarding eating this little guy. She said she thought it “just might not be very vegan to eat him”. Sweet thang! After we gathered our composure, we enjoyed him with some Earth’s Balance. I openly admit, as a vegan, that this is the best bear I’ve ever tasted! Ironically Little Breeches called the belly button with great excitement and gobbled it right up! Hysterical!

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Another Test Recipe, Homeschool Style: Lemon Coconut Chickpea Muffins

On the books for our homeschool curriculum:  Capacity, Length, and Weight of Objects.  On Mama’s books today (in addition to lessons):  test another recipe for an upcoming project for my friend Kathy.  So I did what any homeschoolin’ parent would do:  combine, mix and see what we get!

First we read our vocabulary and started discussing while gathering and measuring ingredients.

Next we guessed the capacity of different containers and measuring spoons.  After the guessing, we tested to see if we were right (and used the almond milk in the last test).

Next we kept on measuring, pouring and blending until we had muffins to go into the oven.  In the oven they went for 19 long minutes until…

These were lovely!  Nice lemon flavor from the lemon juice, zest and essence.  Lovely coconutty texture and mild flavor.  Protein and goodness from the chickpeas.  These muffins were given an A + by the neighborhood kids and enjoyed by my coworkers in the wee hours of the morning during a long night of welcoming two souls into this world.

Multitasking success!

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Ain’t No Devil In These! Devil’s Food Double Chocolate Cookies!

I’ve noticed I’m going for the sweet stuff first when perusing the  list of recipes that need testing!  Hmm….  Ok I’m a sucker for baked goods!  I said it!  (Never trust a skinny cook damn it!)  Whew!  Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, it’s on to the next recipe.

Devil’s Food Double Chocolate Cookies are perfect.  They aren’t too sweet, have a soft cakey crumb, and are filled with chocolate chippy goodness.  And since we’re workin’ with beans this go round, there are some black beaners hiding in this lovely cookie, but added fat isn’t!  Nice!

I couldn’t keep my little one out of the batter.  She even knew of the beans’ existence in the recipe.  Didn’t slow her down a hair.  Once out of the oven, and cooled a bit, they were divine.  10′s all around.

I was pondering how wonderful it was to have protein disguised as pleasure in this cookie when my mind went right into the caloric gutter.  I remembered I had some icing left over from  my daughter’s birthday last week and wouldn’t these cookies make fabulous whoopie pies?  Oh yes.  Yes.  And yes again.  They do.

Ok, so now I’m off to run up and down the stairs a few hundred times to work off that Vegan Buttercream!

 

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