Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hiding Candy

Don't tell my kids but I keep a stash of candy in my bedroom. Stuff that I don't want to share with them. Today I purchased one of my favorites, Trader Joe's Peanut Toffee. It's a soft toffee, kinda flaky, and drizzled with dark chocolate. It really is great. I doubt it has any redeeming nutritional value.

Ummm, all mine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rolled Tacos and Mexican Relish

Tonight for dinner I made rolled tacos filled with soy crumbles and Mexican relish. I don't know if there is another name for the relish, it's not exactly a salsa. My friend Theresa gave me the recipe but it's something you can change each time.

Today's relish had a can of pinto beans, a can of corn, 1/2 an onion, a bell pepper, and one avocado. It is seasoned with cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic salt, and fresh ground pepper. I would have liked tomato but ran out.

There is plenty of relish left snack on for the next few days. I have a bag of tortilla chips set aside to accompany the leftovers. This is one of our favorites and we eat it pretty often.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

shhhh, dessert for dinner

We may or may not have had just dessert for dinner. If my mom is reading this we DID NOT have only this. (We had soy ice cream, too.)

Everyone had a really late lunch and didn't feel much like having dinner. So, I threw together some blackberries and chopped apple in this casserole dish. I cut together some Earth Balance, oat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and pecans to make a nice crust on top.

I didn't measure anything out but it was a bit over sweet for me. Next time I won't use so much brown sugar. The kids loved it, of course. The scraps in the picture are all that is left.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower

Tonight for dinner I used a recipe from The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook. I checked this book out of the library so that I could test out some of the recipes before I committed to buying it for my own library. The title says vegetarian but all of the recipes have vegan options.

The recipe I made tonight was the Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower. I'm not a big coconut milk fan and this recipe does call for a 1/2 cup. It was a very mild coconut flavor and I wasn't put off at all.

I also made chapatis from this recipe I have never made chapatis before but things turned out well. It is a little labor intensive but worth the effort. I only let my dough sit for 30-45 minutes because I hadn't planned ahead of time to make them. Everything went very smoothly.

The only changes I would make to this meal would be to make a more fragrant rice next time.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

BBQ Riblets

Gardenburger saves the day! I was out at a going away party this evening and I brought cookies but didn't think beyond that. There were tons of veggies, fruit and chips to eat. I had a very nice time.

Flash forward to getting home, about 30 minutes ago, and I was STARVING. I remembered that I had stashed these Riblets in the freezer for just such an occasion. I've never had these before but I thought that they were pretty good. I wouldn't want them all of the time because it's pretty much a junk food item in my mind, but they were good and would be perfect for a BBQ.

Thanks again Gardenburger.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vegan IS better!

Today we went to a party for my brother-in-law. My sister is really sweet and provided vegan burgers and condiments. I wanted to make sure that I had a dessert so we wouldn't feel left out. I made Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were awesome. She adds just 1/4 teaspoon of black strap molasses to give them a buttery flavor.

Well, there was cake and big boxes of Cost Co. cookies provided. Our cookies were gone LONG before all of the butter/eggs stuff! I also threw in some left over brownies. Those didn't even make it past the chips and salsa.

Sooooo....HA take that. We aren't missing out on anything.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Teenage Daddy

Isaac- When I grow up will I be a Daddy?

Me- Yah, if that's what you want.
What do you think is a good age to be a Daddy?

Isaac- Sixteen.

Me-, how about 26?

I'm not really worried considering half of the time when he's talking he wants to be the Mommy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

I have to admit that I'm not super diligent on remembering the flax seeds for the kids. So, today I got them Nutru Omega-Zen-3 - Liquid. It's a microalgae source of DHA. It puts my mind at ease.

One dose is 15 drops in the mouth, drink, food, whatever. They took it straight and said it tasted good. That little bottle holds 150 children's doses or 75 adult.

We'll still be doing flax but I'm glad to have this to give them. Pangea has the cheapest I've seen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dal Mughlai Curry

I hate to admit it as lentils are such an easy thing to cook but you are looking at Dal Mughlai Curry from a can. That's right, a can. I saw it at Cost Plus World Market and thought that was a great thing to keep shoved in the cupboard.

Well, I was right. It was fast and easy. I could just as easily make double batches and freeze some to keep on hand, maybe next time. It had a good flavor. Plopped it on some rice, served it with a side of steamed broccoli and some Trader Joe's lavish bread.

Lazy dinner for four on the table.


We went to Disneyland yesterday and I carried a list with me of their vegan offerings. Here is a picture of my veggie burger. I have no idea what kind it is, I only know it's vegan. It wasn't bad but it was an odd flavor. The bun was really good, though. The fries were the best that I've had in a long time. You can get this at Hungry Bear Cafe.

I had some pretty good dark chocolate at the candy shop on Main Street. For dinner we went to Downtown Disney and ate at Rain Forrest Cafe.

Carrot Raisin Bread

I adapted this recipe from one that came with my bread machine.
This makes a 1.5 lb. loaf.

1 cup warm water mixed with
1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer
2 T. oil
3 T. sugar
2 t. salt
3/4 c uncooked, grated carrots
1 1/4 c white flour
2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 t. yeast

1/2 c raisins
2-3 T. ground dried beans
2-3 T. ground flax seed
(if using beans add 1/4 c soy milk)

Place in bread machine in order listed.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trader Joe's Vegan Cookies

The whole family went down to Point Loma to check out the new Trader Joe's. I had been told that it was way bigger. The store was only a bit different but did have a lot more space then the Grossmont one we normally shop at.

One of those differences was vegan cookies. They are similar in taste and packaging to Uncle Eddies vegan cookies. Trader Joe's version of the cookies are a dollar cheaper. We only bought one bag and they are the oatmeal chocolate chip. They are wonderful and have been fought over. (kids) The other two flavors were trail mix and chocolate chip.

I can't wait to try the others.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cafe India

Today we all had lunch at Cafe India for the first time. We had the lunch buffet that they serve. The buffet is mostly vegan. The kids had watermelon, cucumber, rice, curried potatoes and a little bit of some kind of beans. Oh, and I can't forget the naan. They were all over that.

I had their lovely seasoned rice, a lot of curried potatoes and some of the tasty beans. Sadly I can't review on much else because curried potatoes are my favorite and I went a little overboard. The fresh fruit that they served was nice. I wish I could figure out the beans to replicate.

Joe had some of their lentil soup. He said it tasted a bit like potato also. Isaac tried a bite and liked it. He tried the salad and said the dressing was pretty spicy but he still cleaned his plate. Other then that we're overlapping.

We'll be sure to eat there again.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Strawberry Picking

Here's two pictures from our trip to Tierra Miguel organic farm on Thursday. Isaac and Ramsey had a great time with their friends picking berries.


Quick and easy dinner tonight. Corn tortillas filled with refried beans and faux cheese, fried until crispy. Topped with guacamole and more faux cheese if you're 5 or under. Quick and easy.

I chopped up the last of the strawberries from our trip to pick them on Thursday. They are sitting in the fridge next to the bottle of Soy Whip for a quick after dinner treat.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stone Brewing Co.

Today is the husbands birthday. Happy Birthday Joe! So he got to pick the restaurant for dinner. We ended up at Stone Brewing Co. to satisfy his obsession with beer.

I forgot to take a picture of my meal and looking at it really was the best part. They had one vegan meal on the menu. It was baked tofu stir fried with tamari, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots and short grain brown rice. The flavor was so strong and over powering I had to skip the rice and tofu. I picked out all the vegetables to eat and even they tasted off.

If there's a next time I'll be sticking with salad.

Oh, they also had no desserts that were vegan.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Vegan Banana Muffins

I like to buy a ton of bananas and freeze them to have on hand for smoothies. The kids, Ramsey mostly, have been such banana fiends lately that even when I buy extra they are gone before they are to the stage where I would freeze them.

Today when we were at Tierra Miguel strawberry picking I saw that they had super ripe bananas on sale. I bought 7 pounds of bananas for $2. I froze most of them but wanted to make some banana muffins to have around. I'm totally tired and didn't want to look in any of my cookbooks so I just Googled for a recipe. I came across this and tried it out.

I was out of plain applesauce so I used berry applesauce. I skipped out on the vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. They have a wholesome sweet flavor. I think nuts would probably make them a little better. The batter puffs up but the muffins themselves don't get any bigger while cooking. I used a mini-muffin pan and baked for about 13 minutes.

All and all, they're alright. I like them well enough. I'm sure the kids will eat them. I'll probably not come back to this recipe again.

Tortilla Soup

Tonight for dinner I made the Tortilla Soup from The Vegan Family Cookbook. It was pretty easy for when you are in a hurry. It takes shortcuts like using salsa instead of tomatoes and all the seasonings. Pretty good flavor. The recipe calls for mild salsa but I used medium. It was a touch spicy for the kids. Also, they have you cut up corn tortillas and put them in plain. Next time I will bake or fry them until they are crispy. Soggy tortillas aren't that great. I also added extra corn to the kids bowls. It helped cool it down and my kids aren't really interested in all of the onions and bell peppers.

We had guacamole and chips on the side. Hmmm, I should have put some shredded vegan cheese on top.

I'd make it again on a night when we were hungry and didn't have much time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Waffles with blackberries

Tonight for dinner I made orange tofu with broccoli and rice. I cut my extra firm tofu into cubes and then freeze them a bit before dinner. Then I roll each piece of tofu in a mixture of flour and nutritional yeast. I fry them in my cast iron skillet until they are golden. We use Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Sauce on top.

Joe's birthday is on Friday and the kids squealed about his birthday present. It's one of those rotating Belgin waffle irons. To take it for a test run, we made waffles for dessert. We used this recipe that I found online.... They were fluffy with a nice sweet flavor.

I crushed some blackberries with sugar and topped every thing off with Soy Whip.

Ummm, I forgot about taking a picture until after we had started eating that's why the whip is all melty.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gluten Free Vegan Celebration

My mom is allergic to wheat and has been really missing it. For the most part she's happy with keeping it out of her diet because desserts, breads and pastas are the easiest for her to over eat. Still all people get cravings.

So, for Mothers Day my sister Christy and I decided to surprise Mom with dinner. We planned it for Tuesday so that we could watch Gilmore Girls. We made a nice salad and followed that with rice spaghetti and marinara sauce. Then we were on to the desserts.

We got Bob's Red Mill GF baking mix to use in place of wheat flour in our recipes. We made brownies from a recipe on A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise. We added in both a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and a 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts. These were amazing! I will never use another brownie recipe. They were super rich. Next time I will use more walnuts.

We also made oatmeal raisin cookies, my moms favorite. They had a very good flavor but spread really thin. They ended up a bit crispy, which I like. My Earth Balance was very soft and I used mixed rolled grains instead of just oats. Adding to that we didn't use wheat flour. So, I really don't know which variable, if any, made these cookies so thin. It's still a recipe that I will be trying again. If they turn the same next time I will know in advance for when we want crispy cookies.

Dinner was a success and we had a lot of fun.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Indian Lentils over Rice

Tonight for dinner I made Indian Lentils over Rice from 'The Vegan Family Cookbook.' Joe and I both thought that it had a great flavor. Isaac ate about half of his and Ramsey took one bite. That's pretty much my kids seal of approval. They did, of course, eat the rice.

The recipe was easy to follow and very quick with the aid of my rice cooker and pressure cooker. It calls for half of an onion. I put the remaining half in my stock bag in the freezer. Next time I will caramelize the remaining half of the onion to sprinkle on top.

This really was a great dish. We usually only like our spinach raw. This opened us up to some new spinach possibilities.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Aloo Mattar

I came across this recipe for Aloo Mattar in a book at the library. I can't remember the title of the book but wanted to fess up to it not being my recipe.

Aloo Mattar
Potatoes & Peas

Brown rice (or grain of your choice)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2T olive oil
1 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
1t garam masala
1/2t paprika
1/4c vegetable stock
1 large potato, cubed
1 large tomato, minced
1/2t salt
1/2c frozen peas
1T fresh cilantro, minced

In a medium pot, cook the rice accordingly. While rice is cooking, in a large saucepan on medium heat, saute the onions in oil until translucent. Add the ginger, garam masala, and paprika and saute for 2 minutes; stir constantly to avoid sticking. Add the stock, potatoes, tomatoes, and salt, and stir until well coated. Cover with lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once potatoes are cooked, stir in the peas and cilantro; remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Joe and I both thought that this recipe had a great flavor and it was pretty quick to cook up. It didn't have any sauce to it and that was a disappointment. We like to pour everything on top of the rice. The kids ate a few bites which was pretty good for such a strong tasting food.

I think I'll keep looking for a more soupy Aloo Mattar.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mochi Failure

Well, I was being very lazy and didn't want to put a bunch of time into making mochi. So, I came across this microwave version online. Isaac and I decided to try it out.

We have no picture of the sticky lumps that stuck to our counter. I could take a picture of our clogged drain. Even better I was unaware that Ramsey flung her hand around and splattered it on the wall. It's now a wonderful recipe for glue. One base board keeps coming lose no matter how much Joe glues it. Next time I'll whip up another batch of microwave mochi for him. Does anyone want a picture of the mochi that will only come off the wall with paint attached?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wild Turkeys

We went camping at the end of March for the first time with the kids.

The temperature was nice during the day but pretty cold at night.

Sleeping bags come with a minimum temperature that they will keep you warm.

The people who made my sleeping bag are big fat liars about it keeping you warm.

Now for the story.... During the day after we had finished setting up camp this flock of wild turkeys came threw. There were more then the just the 3 I managed to get a picture of. They were pretty loud. I followed them a bit but to be honest large fowl freaks me out a bit. (They do bite pretty hard)
During the night I put any and every blanket in my sleeping bag to try and get warm. Nothing helped. I stayed awake all night only drifting off in short bursts before waking to the cold again. At some point I woke up hearing a noise. Evidently I was out of my head and woke up my husband to tell him that I thought there were turkeys in our tent. Come morning the tent was still zipped up.

I've not really lived down waking him up to say the turkeys had found a way in.

Eating Out

We drove an hour north today to Temecula to visit my sister Christy. I am not a huge fan of packing lunches and only drug along a few snacks. This of course means that we ate out.

We had not so exciting Vegan corn dogs for lunch. However, for dinner my pregnant sister was joansing for a Rubios bean burrito. I grilled the cashier over the salads and any non diary dressings. She was super nice and helpful, even warned me that the guacamole had milk in it. They cut up some fresh avocado for my salad. Next time I'm eating on the run I will be there again.

It was a Grilled Grande Bowl with the Serrano-grape dressing. Obviously I left off the meat and cheese. They make wraps as well.

The kids and their sophisticated pallets had their usual, Isaac chips and beans, Ramsey Mexican rice.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Ramsey eating seaweed salad. I can't say that I really cared for it.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

We came across this recipe online and the kids went nuts about wanting to make them. You can't really go wrong with cookies. The batter was a bit stiff so the chocolate chips kind of fell out. We had to push them in with our fingers. Once baked they are good. They have a slight coconut odor. They are more on the crunchy/chew side. I hate soft/cakey cookies. There....I've said it.

Recipe found at....
As always I used double the amount of vanilla.

Devine Pastabilities

We tried out a new restaurant on Monday called Devine Pastabilites. They made this unique dish called a torpasta. It's a big roll hollowed out and filled with pasta. Joe got a Veggieball torpasta. It was this bread with spaghetti and vegan "meat"balls inside. I got their vegan special. It had a penne pasta with red sauce sauted with spinach, onion, and bell pepper. Again it was stuff inside the crusty roll. This place was great and we will be going back. I'm pretty sure that they do a salad that they stuff in the bread. That sounds excellent.