Saturday, July 7, 2012

My coffee doesn't want to be vegan!

My coffee refuses to convert.  It demands white sugar and half-and-half (fat free...the whole stuff tastes weird!).  It doesn't like those sugar substitutes, and won't allow soy milk/almond milk near it.  I love my coffee, and I don't want to ask it to move out, but how can I convince it to change?  It enjoys being sweet and creamy and it knows that no substitute will do what sugar/half-and-half does.

I'm open to suggestions and will continue to search the web for something that tastes as close as possible to what I'm used to but I'm not optimistic.  In the mean time my non-vegan coffee and I will continue to have our illicit relationship twice a day.  xoxo

What's for desert?

Can I just say how much I completely love VegWeb?  I'd be completely lost without the amazing recipes they have posted there.  Changing your entire food lifestyle is difficult, and VegWeb has definitely made the transition a whole lot easier!

Yesterday the kiddos and I made Granola Bars and Raw Brownies guessed it...VebWeb!!

We used THIS recipe for the granola bars - I added 3/4 cups each of blueberry craisins, pomegranate craisins and sliced almonds.  I substituted almond milk for soy, agave for brown rice syrup and natural applesauce for the oil.  They really need to be refrigerated after baking so they firm up before cutting.  They were DELISH!!!  Sooo good, and I felt so much better giving the kiddos these rather than the store bought kind.

The Raw Brownies were amazing!  They were just the right amount of chocolate to curb any cravings, with no guilt from eating something bad for you!!!!  The only change I made to the recipe was we used raisins instead of dates, as the Enthusiast hates dates!!  The Adventurer asked that next time I make them I use less agave then the recipe calls for because he thought they were too sweet (what kid thinks desert is TOO sweet??  My kids are so weird!).  We also did not put the icing on the brownies.  I think next time I'll try making them without the pecans and add in some shredded coconut, or a little coconut milk.  Personally, I think with just the raisins, cocoa and the agave they would be amazing!!  They taste very similar to dark chocolate.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

First Vegan Shopping Outing and Dinner

So the kids and I have embraced today as our first vegan day - sort of.  My boys, the 13 year old "Adventurer" and the 10 year old "Skeptic" will probably be more vegetarian than vegan.  They'll eat the vegan dinners I cook, but they will still get regular milk, ice cream and vegetarian friendly snacks.  My 17 year old daughter, the "Enthusiast" will do the whole vegan thing with me.  So far there hasn't been too much resistance from the boys, although I was a little worried.  While they don't exactly "love" chicken breasts, they do love their chicken nuggets, pork chops, burgers and cheese (they must take after their mother).  They seem excited that I can still make things like Vegan Mac and Cheese, Veggie Burgers, and lots of other favorites of theirs with a vegan twist.

Shopping was a bit difficult.  I don't live near a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes or anything even remotely close to those types of stores.  Hannafords has a decent selection of produce and vegetarian/vegan friendly foods, but there were still things I couldn't find.  I may have to order some of the things I need on Amazon (couldn't find the nutritional yeast I needed for a seitan recipe I had).  I do think I need to adjust how I shop, because I spent more on one weeks worth of food (and I didn't really buy anything outrageous) then I usually do on 2 weeks worth.  Plus I didn't even buy snacks for the boys (have a bunch in the house) or enough cereal for them.

Tonight we tried the Spicy Peanut Butter Tempeh along with Kale Chips.  It was very filling!!  The sauce was wonderful and creamy (I left out the spicy elements as not all of the kids like spicy), although the tempeh took some getting used to.  It doesn't taste bad, it just has a weird mouth feel in my opinion.  The Adventurer had two helpings, and the Skeptic rated it a 7 out of 10, which is HIGH PRAISE for him.  We all LOVED the Kale Chips...they are insanely delicious and addictive!!!

For my non-vegetarian/vegan friends - THIS is Tempeh

Kale Chips getting ready to go in the oven

The Enthusiast sauteing the tempeh 

Adding the tempeh to the coconut milk, spices and peanut butter sauce


Monday, July 2, 2012

Can I Vegan?

OK - I am on a mission.  My babiest baby sister is getting married in 1 year and 1 month at a Caribbean Resort.  In an effort to lose weight for the wedding I am becoming a Vegan (cause have you ever seen a FAT Vegan??).  My other baby sister has been a Vegan for many years (and weighs NOTHING!!!) so she will be helping me with recipes/shopping and the emotional support necessary to give up cheese and butter (CRY!!!).  I start here goes nothing!  Wish me luck!!!