Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Why Does It Have to End????

Today is the last day of Vegan Mofo and I am so sad! I have really enjoyed participating for my first time, and I feel like I've made some new friends over the webz! Today's prompt is Fusion challange! This is probably the worst one for me, because while I am a very adventurous eater, and I love all different types of cuisine, spices,etc., I am not a fan of mixing cuisines.  I even loathe the idea of pineapple on a pizza. I will gag if I taste pineapple with marinara sauce. Way back in the dark ages when Food Network was a new thing, I used to love watching Molto Mario. When you watch him cook, it's so mesmerizing. It's like a dance, and he always gave great lessons about the regions of Italy, and why certain foods were popular in that region. He is a meaty chef, but I have seen him talk very highly of veganism, he has amazing vegan recipes, and he is actually starting to promote less meat. He is a big promoter of meatless Monday's, and I just really love him. Anyway, he shudders and cringes at the idea of fusion cuisine, and I have to say I am right there with him. So, I have no fusion cuisine to share on this last day of Mofo. I actually have no pictures because I just haven't really been hungry the last few days, so eating hasn't been a priority.
I do however have some cute kitty fusion pictures! I woke up this morning to find two of my sillies locked in the bathroom. They like to hide from each other behind the door, and sometimes the door closes all the way. I have no idea how long they were in there, but they were so happy to see me when I woke up! The other bad thing they did overnight was pull my futon base almost all the way off the frame. It now has a V shape that they can go under and have like a fort. I'm going to let them have their fort for a day.
I'm pretty sure Chunk was the instigator in this whole deal.
Getting ready to enter the fort!

Animals know when we are sad, or hurt, or need a hug. These little guys and gals have been giving me all the love. Chunk in particular. He has all of a sudden become a huge cuddle muffin, where he wasn't so much before. It never ceases to amaze me how kind and sweet animals are, and yet we continue to be so terrible to them. I'm not a religious person, but I have to believe there will be some kind of price to pay for all the cruelty.
Good morning Animal!
Yes, she is named Animal, just like the Muppets character. From the time she was a tiny kitten, she has always reminded me of that character!
Sorry to end Mofo in such a non-food way, but hey isn't veganism about the animals?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Road Tripping!

Today's Mofo prompt is what would you bring on a vegan road trip? I love road trips, it's my favorite way to travel. When I moved to Seattle the first time, I moved via greyhound! Three and a half days on a bus. The few times I visited family, I also traveled via greyhound. I love making connections with people in that short time, and seeing all types of towns and cities you would normally just fly over. I've had some really interesting conversations on the greyhound! The downside is you have to eat wherever the bus stops, and sometimes you hit vegan hostile territory. I remember one trip the bus stopped at a rest stop type place with several fast food restaurants. One was a burrito/taco type place, so I though I had hit the jackpot! When I asked if the beans were vegan, the cashier looked at me and said "A what". I wish I were making this up, but I am not. I did get a vegan burrito, after about ten minutes of asking, and explaining. The end result was some beans and iceberg lettuce wrapped in a somewhat stale tasting burrito. But I was so hungry that I remember in that moment it was better than Chipotle!
It's hard to bring a lot of food on a greyhound because it can get pretty crowded in there. The next time I take a greyhound trip, I will make sure to pack small things like trail mix, nuts, crackers and hummus, just things that aren't too bulky, but will also tide you over.
This last time I moved to Seattle, I did travel by car, and for the first part of the trip I packed some tofurky and Chao cheese sandwiches. I also find that even tiny little grocery stores in tiny little towns have hummus and bread. It's a good thing that hummus has become so popular.
Also, if you have a cooler you can make burritos, and wraps which are pretty easy to eat while driving, or or being a passenger.
I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of Mofo! I feel so sad, it's been a really awesome experience, and I already can't wait for next year!
I'm hoping I will still have this laptop for tomorrow! You have to take things one day at a time in these situations.
Hopefully I will learn some more great road trip suggestions. I always can use a little help when it comes to my planning and organizational abilities!
Thanks for the kind comments on yesterday's post. One of the hardest things about feeling so low is admitting that you are down there! But it really helps when people say kind and supportive things. It means the world to me. Between the comments, and the extra love I'm getting from my fur babies, I might stay sane through all of this.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Burritos and Life.

Today's Mofo prompt is yet another choice. Tacos or burritos? People are very passionate about both tacos and burritos. I'm in the middle, as usual, I love them both! I do tend to eat burritos more often, they are kind of the perfect hand held food, and you can fit a lot of stuff in there! I feel like a burrito has a better chance of being a complete package. You can fit rice, tofu or beans, and lots of veggies. So if I had to pick one of these two things to eat, I guess I would choose a burrito!
I wish I had a picture of a gorgeous burrito that I made for dinner last night, but I didn't eat dinner! I don't want to be a Debbie Downer on the last few days of Mofo, but I am having a bit of a personal crisis. It's not Dylan, so that's a relief. I'm going through a somewhat bad breakup. I'm very scared because I haven't yet found a job, and I am super worried about life. If it were just me, I wouldn't be so worried because I've gone through a lot in my life, but it's not just me, and I have my fur family to worry about. I fear that I am going to have to live a vegan's worst nightmare and take a job at some fast food place. I have never had to work in fast food, and I sure don't want to now, but I don't know what else to do. I am very scared right now, and to be honest I haven't really been able to do much more than cry for the last couple of days. Moving back to Seattle doesn't seem like the greatest idea anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love Seattle, but it's so expensive, and I am on the low  end of the wage spectrum. The laptop I have been using is his, because my laptop had a virus, and my now ex-boyfriend made the computer unusable when he attempted to "fix" it. So I don't even know how much longer I will be able to have access to a computer since he made it clear he's coming at some point to get his "stuff" which means his laptop, since there is nothing else of his here. When this happens, I guess I can go the library and blog, but it will be weird. I'm someone who like peace and quiet when I'm writing, or reading. But I will do my best to fight through any weird social anxiety I may have. It might sound goofy, but this blog is very important to me, and I'm very proud of myself for starting it, and I love it so much. It made me realize that I really enjoy writing, and I've even taken a few free classes at the library on writing! The library near my apartment has all kinds of free classes! I know that I must love to write if I braved a classroom environment, which I am deadly afraid of. So, I guess I'm getting off track here, sorry stress and bad sleeping equal a brain fry.
I'm sorry this has been not much to do with Mofo, but as I've mentioned before, life can get in the way, and I want to be honest about my life. Plus, I don't have a whole lot of humans to talk to about how I'm feeling, so this blog is like I'm talking to a friend!
I would appreciate any good luck vibes sent my way because things are looking bleak right now. But the good news is that this relationship needed to end. No one should ever be with someone who makes them feel bad about themselves, and that's what was happening to me. We all deserve to be loved, and respected, and we all deserve to be listened to.  I once commented that it hurt my feelings that he doesn't listen or seem interested when I talk, and he told me it's because he isn't interested in what I'm talking about. He has sated that veganism does not interest him, he doesn't care about politics or world events, and he doesn't like to read! Like anything, even a magazine or newspaper!
So, I feel like this is for the best, it's just that I might lose everything I love. Anyway, I'm so sorry for this rambling, crazy blog post!
Hopefully I will be back tomorrow to finish ot the last two days of Mofo with a bang!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Spice Up Your Life!!!

Today's Mofo prompt is what is your favorite herb/spice. I think everyone must be way better at making decisions than me! All of these prompts for favorite are KILLING me! As usual, I could not pick just one. I love spices and strong flavors, and what I love about stores that sell spices in bulk is that you can buy a pinch of something and see if you like it. I swear if you buy spices in bulk, you will GAG at the difference in cost. They really make you pay out of the wazoo for the bottles! My spice cabinet is way emptier than usual, I still haven't fully restocked my bulk spices! But pictured above are four of my favorites, Sea salt, smoked paprika, red curry powder, black peppercorns, and not bottled are turmeric and my must have, crushed red pepper.
I watched a YouTube video last summer or fall, and this person was speaking about salt addiction. She is salt free, (one of those no oil, no salt vegans) and said that your taste buds really do adjust to no salt, and you really learn to appreciate the natural taste of food. She made a compelling argument, and I seriously flirted with the idea of going no salt myself. But then I realized that I really don't eat a lot of processed foods which are often loaded with sodium, and I don't excessively salt my food, and my blood pressure is always on the low end, so I decided to accept myself, and realize it's okay to use salt.
Turmeric is a spice I have been using on the regular for about two years now. I read that turmeric is good for the liver, and since I overindulged in alcohol for many years, I'm always looking for natural liver healers. Turmeric is a spice that I think most people should add into their diet. I try to add it to something I eat at least once a day. I also had read awhile ago about a turmeric paste being applied to brides before a traditional 'Haldi' Indian wedding. Here is a great article about using turmeric for all kinds of beauty woes! I recently made a face mask with half of an avocado that had gone more brown than I prefer to eat, some turmeric, and a little agave. I let it sit on my face and neck for about fifteen or twenty minutes, and let me tell you, the face that I saw after wiping this away was a whole new face! It looked like I had just spent a day at the spa, getting pampered and primped! It was really amazing. I really recommend trying this mask. All natural, no weird stuff, and totally cruelty free! Not to mention a million times cheaper than any product that you can buy!
There are so many other spices I love, and so many that I still need to discover! I love that almost every spice and herb has some type of medicinal property. Why is it so hard to understand that food really is medicine?
This isn't really a spice or herb, but I do love green onions, and I decided to try the grow your own onion trick. I put the root end of a green onion in water to see if it will regrow. I was dubious because I am a horrible vegan in that i am a PLANT KILLER! But the little buddy is growing! Now I've added two more to the mix.
And finally, I leave you with a picture of one of my favorite spicy gals, Stevie! It's a little dark, but I think her cuteness shines through!
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Snow Day!!!!!!

Today's Mofo prompt is to have a snow day and make a meal out of what yo already have on hand. After living through last winter in Erie PA. (which is in the snow belt) this prompt was not hard to imagine. And here in Seattle, we are about to be coming up on the rainy season, and I often do not have the desire to leave the house if I don't have to! I took a picture of everything I ate yesterday. I love these kinds of challenges because it shows that often times you have a lot more food than you realize. Plus it really forces you to get creative with your cooking. Some of my very best lentil soup recipes have come from these types of having to use what you have situations.
I decided to attempt  tostadas for the first time yesterday for breakfast. I over toasted the tortillas a little, but they were really delicious, and easy and I will be making again.
Topped with black beans, cabbage, nutritional yeast, a little daiya, and hot sauce!

I didn't mind if the tortillas were a little over toasted, this may sound strange, but when I was a little kid I loved burnt toast. I used to beg my grandma to make me black toast! Ha.
Love your kidneys!
I meant to say this in the beginning, but I forgot. I had nowhere I needed to be yesterday, and it was a grey dreary day here, so I really did have a "snowed in day". I drank lots of tea to stay warm.
So much better than gatorade!
I had two dates lingering on my counter, so I decided to make a strawberry dateorade.  I blended the two dates with about a cup or so of  frozen strawberries. Pretty tasty. Maybe a little cold for a snow day, but hey, use what yo have!
I also had this juice made with green leaf lettuce, cucumber, celery, ginger, orange, and apple. I used honeycrisp apples which I had fond at Trader Joe's for a great price, and I think these may be my favorite apples for juicing. The flavor really comes through. I haven't had honeycrisp apples often, because I do prefer organic apples which are already more expensive, and organic or not, this variety is always on the pricier side. I hope Trader Joe's continues to carry these through apple season!
I had decided in the morning what I wold be having for dinner. I used a little less than half a can of black beans on my tostadas, so I wanted to use those, and I had a jalapeno that got lost in the fridge, and needed to be used. I decided to soak some cashews, and make green chili mac and cheese with black beans! It turned out really creamy and delicious and I wrote down the recipe!
                                             Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans
  • 3/4 C. Cashews soaked
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 C. Water
  • 1/4 C. nutritional yeast
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 roasted jalapeno and 1 roasted shallot. ( I roasted these together with a tiny amount of olive oil for about thirty minutes at 350 fahrenheit)
  • 12-14 oz. pasta of your choice, cooked 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C. daiya (totally optional, it's awesome without.)
  • 1/2 C. Black Beans

 While your pasta is cooking, blend everything but the daiya and black beans until it is smooth, creamy, and cheesey. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and put on medium low heat, and add the cashew chili sauce stir until every noddle is totally coated, and add daiya if using. If you  are not using, turn off heat, let sit for a few minutes, and enjoy! If you are using daiya, stir it in, turn the heat off, and place the lid on the pot, and let sit for a few minutes. The cheese will melt and become ooey-gooey. This is spicy, but roasting the jalapeno really mellows a lot of the heat, and remember you can remove the seeds and veins before roasting to really reduce the heat! I almost forgot, when you add the daiya, also add your beans so they can warm up. Yo can of course use whatever beans you have, use more, leave them out, whatever you choose! This is a use what you have recipe for sure!
Topped with scallions of course!
I used Orecchiette pasta, which means small or little ears. It was fun because the black beans like to nestle into the center of the pasta. This was tasty, creamy, comforting, and easy to make and I am glad for myself that I wrote down what I did!
Well, this was another fun prompt! I am so excited to see what fun snow day food everyone comes up with today! Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 25, 2015

I Guess I Like Umami!

Today's Mofo prompt proves what I have known for years.. I am the worst at choosing! The prompt is to name your favorite cuisine. I am having anxiety over having to choose one cuisine! The easier question would be what cuisine don't I like. I don't care too much for typical American style food. I find it to be boring and bland, and I need zing in my life. And of course we all know what a joke the Standard American Diet is. I think even people who live on the SAD know it's horrible. So that is what I don't like. I love bold spices, lots of textures, I like some type of acid/vinegar to my meal, and I like meals that are bright. For instance, the other day I made a vegan pot pie for Autumn Equinox. Even though it was delicious, I froze the leftovers for later because it wasn't something that I want to eat all the time. Too safe and Midwestern. I mean no offense, I grew up in the Midwest, but my taste buds migrate to much more exotic places.
For dinner last night I made a Bibimbap bowl, which is one of my favorite dinners. I love the warm rice and tofu with the raw crunch of the veggies, and the spicy sauce just makes it all happy.
It's a great way to use whatever veggies you have on hand. Last night I used cabbage, shredded carrots, scallions, and red pepper. Delicious. I baked the tofu in the oven with some coconut oil, and a little salt and pepper. It's my favorite way of cooking and eating tofu. It gets that kind of puffy crispy outside, while being soft and fluffy inside similar to deep fried, but much healthier. I think it's how I cook tofu at least ninety-five percent of the time. It doesn't really take much coconut oil either. I use maybe one tablespoon, give or take. Oil is such a tricky, polarizing ingredient isn't it? I feel like it's a tug of war with people telling you use the good oils, the good fats, we need them! Then, there is the camp that believes in pretty much no fat, and there are also people who say to eat fat, but not oil. So, get your fats from avocado, nut, seeds, etc. I fall in the middle. I don't think a ton of oil is good for anyone, and when I can skip it I do, however sometimes a little dab will do you! I imagine how confusing the interwebz must be sometimes for new vegans researching what foods to eat. There are so many opinions, and ways of thinking, and some people are so lets say passionate about their way being the right way. I feel like if you are choosing to eat vegan, you're doing it the right way! I think Vegan Mofo is a great example of that. I have seen some beautiful plates of food, and ideas for new recipes. I wish we could somehow make a huge collage of all of the different and beautiful vegan food, and send it to every non vegan everywhere! I know it would change some minds. I have heard non vegans make all kind of strange judgments on vegan food. It's too brown, too green, full of wheatgrass, too healthy, too processed, and on and on and on. Vegan Mofo really shows how much there is something for everyone.
I am lucky to be back in Seattle with almost any kind of world cuisine you can imagine. As a matter of fact, it's a goal of mine to discover a new cuisine! I know I did a terrible job making a decision on this prompt, but just let it be a warning to never go to a restaurant with me, because I am the worst at choosing/decisions! That probably explains a lot about my life, but I'll save that for therapy!!
Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Today's Mofo prompt is what well known person of our choice would eat if they were a vegan. I knew from the jump who my well known person would be! Cenk Uygur host of  the Young Turks on YouTube. I absolutely love The Young Turks, they cover stories that you definitely do not hear about on mainstream media, and they kept me sane when I was living in Fox News loving Erie PA. And when I had certain conservative family members attempt to make me feel bad for my opinions, I needed to see that I wasn't dumb, or alone in my thoughts.
Cenk Uygur is that person you want with you when people are trashing your beliefs. He is an attorney who practiced in Washington D.C. and New York, so no one can try to throw legal speak at him and confuse him, he also used to be a conservative republican, so he is well versed in their mind-set. You don't very often meet adults who have changed like that. Most people I meet tend to stick with what they know, what they were taught, and never question any other way of thinking. So, he's extremely intelligent, and he is extremely passionate, and he is definitely a warrior. He is someone that I greatly admire, and truth be told, I'm kind of madly in love with him. I am drawn to his passion, and strength and intelligence, and I love people who speak spontaneously, from the heart and refuse to sell out, or change who they are.
So, enough about my schoolgirl crush, let's move onto vegan food. Cenk is someone who I believe would easily become a vegan if he learned enough about what really goes on in the farming industry. He loathes greed and cruelty, and he is a warrior for the underdog, so it makes more sense for him to be vegan than not. I hear him talk about In and Out burgers, and ice cream and such. I know he's a runner, and goes to the gym, so I think he eats healthy most of the time, but has In and Out burgers and nutty buddies and ice cream for treats. I suspect he would eat that way more often if it were healthy! Ha. So, I decided to make a vegan cheeseburger with special sauce, and fries to show that vegans can chow down on some grease and junk too!
I decided to go with the Amy's Quarter pound burger to try and be really fast food, and super size about it. i made a special sauce with Just Mayo, sweet relish, and ketchup. It seems from some research that In and Out's "secret sauce" is very similar to the "special sauce" that McCruel uses.
Look at that kind burger!
The whole shebang!

I served the burger with some curly fries, and it was so naughty and delicious! Truth be told, the Amy's burgers were a little dry for my taste, so I;m glad this was imaginary. When I do meet Cenk, I will serve this meal using either The Beast Burger, or Gardein's Beefless Burger. I feel like both of those burgers are pleasing to those that want that real BURGER experience.
Simply the best!
I knew I would have to have some type of dessert, and I thought of making a shake, but I didn't want to pulverize the delicious dark chocolate covered cashews! So, in my mind Cenk and I would share this right out of the tub, and he would be shocked at how decadent this vegan food was, and I would tell him of the dark days of being vegan, when the only ice cream option was soy! We'll laugh, we'll bond, and the delicious vegan food will speak for itself, and he will realize that as a progressive thinker, it's just not worth it to support the meat and dairy industry. Especially because he doesn't have to sacrifice taste to do what's right! If you look up some of his going ballistic videos, you will see what I mean when I say he would be a passionate, amazing warrior for the animals.
I will leave you today with a beautiful shot of  Spada Lake in Snohomish County, not too far away from Seattle. Breathing in car fumes every day, and living in a concrete jungle really makes you appreciate nature.
Not one of my cats!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Today is the first day of Autumn, so it makes sense that today's prompt is Autumn equinox eats. Before I speak of food, I would just like to put in my protest of fall. It's not that I don't enjoy the coziness of fall, it's just that after fall comes winter, and I just loathe and detest winter. But I guess I shouldn't ruin the beauty of Autumn by dreading winter, right?
So, I did some research on Autumn equinox celebrations and food, and what I came up with is that Autumn equinox meals are kind of the bridge between lighter summer fare, and the heaviness of winter food. It's food for warming our bodies, and preparing us for the harshness of winter(!!) This is that time of year when you still have some lingering late summer produce, but also the squash and root vegetables are coming! I made two meals yesterday that I would think would be welcome at any Autumn equinox gathering! Fist I made sweet potato and red lentil stew loosely following this recipe. I cut the recipe down, and I didn't add the Tuscan kale as I am out. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Anyway, this soup is really delicious, and I really recommend the recipe.
I always add extra crushed red pepper because I need spice. I also love sweet potatoes with spice. The red lentils break down and become creamy, it's just really comforting.
For my second meal, I decided to make something that I struggle with. A delicious, comforting vegan pot pie. I have tried to make this several times, at least once was an EPIC fail, and the other times it just turned out too bland, too thick, or too runny. I don't know what made me want to try again, but I am so glad I did, because I totally NAILED IT!!! I of course didn't write anything down, because I really didn't have high hopes. I figured it would be edible for me, but not something anyone else would want to cook. But I made a pot pie that could solve the worlds problems! Toot toot! I know that I used three cups of stock, and one fourth cup flour to thicken, and I used two potatoes, one can of chickpeas, on cup frozen peas and corn(combined) one onion, some shredded carrots, and I used poultry seasoning and rosemary.(a very popular equinox herb), and salt and pepper to taste.

I used a frozen puff pastry for the top. I was very surprised at how easy it is to find vegan puff pastry. It's easier than finding vegan bread!! I wouldn't want to eat this dish every day as it is very rich, and seriously lacking flair and spice, but it was creamy and comforting, and seems like a great dish for getting our bodies ready for the dreaded W word.
I lit an orange candle as orange and yellow candles were mentioned frequently in my research. I think any non-vegan would feel very satisfied with this meal. I still have another sheet of puff pastry, and some phyllo dough leftover from my tomato tarts, so I can't wait to experiment with these surprisingly vegan items. Food in little packages is very fun!
I am super duper beyond excited for tomorrow's prompt! It might turn out to tie with the vegan inspiration prompt as my favorite prompt so far. Just leaving you with a little cliffhanger!
Happy Wednesday!
I also added celery to my pie, as you can see in the picture! Man I wish I wrote down the recipe!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

So Fresh and So Cheap Cheap!

Today's Mofo prompt is to make a dish using all seasonal produce. Do you ever have those days where you desperately crave something very simple? Last night was one of those days for me. So, I had some roasted russet, and sweet potatoes with a simple salad of sweet peppers and Persian cucumbers.  I made a spicy aioli sauce for dipping with Just Mayo, red curry powder, and a little sriracha sauce.
Simple, cheap, healthy and delicious! 
I also sprinkled some hempseeds on my salad, just to live on the edge This dinner really hit the spot. Ever since I started eating a higher starch diet, I've come to realize how satisfying and delicious potatoes are. Who ever relegated them to a side dish was insane I tell you! I'm starting to see pumpkins, and Halloween candy at stores, and to be honest I don't like it. I just don't like winter, and I can't fully enjoy fall, because I know what's coming next, and I dread it! But I do like the food, so there's that. Eating local and seasonal has become so trendy that I almost can't stand to hear either word, but it is true that it's the cheapest way to eat. Right now groceries I've been to are almost giving away melons and cucumbers!
This is off topic, but Trader Joe's has these dried mandarin sections, and they are to die for. Picture the sweetest satsuma section, and then picture it dehydrated, so it's chewy and extra sweet! These really blew my mind, and are great for a sweet tooth!
Although it's early for oranges, this juice did have some beautiful purple carrots, and made a really beautiful juice. And carrots are practically being given away now too!
Today I leave you with more silly pictures of Chunk. He likes to play in the bathtub, and any time I go to shower, or clean the tub, I have to remove at least two or three toys from the tub. The bathroon is right next to my bedroom, and there have been nights he has been playing so hard in there he wakes me up! So silly!

He's been in the tub at this point for well over an hour. Having a blast with a kombucha ring and an old hair tie!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Is That You Wilson?

Today's Mofo prompt is another toughie for me. What three endless food supplies would you take if you were stranded on an island? Your nutritional needs are already met, so this is just stuff you love.
Although nothing makes me happier than thinking about living on a beautiful sunny island, it's the stranded part that just rattles me. I'm pretty sure it would be a disaster if I were stranded. Also, I am way too much of a commitment-phobe to only choose three things! I can't imagine for the rest of my life having only three things to eat! And also, I need to know how my nutritional needs are being met. Am I on an island full of pineapple, Ataulfo mangoes, and avocados? A girl needs to know these things before being imaginary stranded on an island!
I would have to say my first choice for stranded food would be my all time favorite food, Chao slices! I am not one to eat the same thing over and over, but I think I could eat chao daily for the rest of my life and never get sick of it! I also feel like I would need some kind of crunchy, salty snack. No matter how healthy I try to eat, I find it painful to live a life without salty and crunchy!
I love these pea crisps. They are my number one favorite thing to munch when I am reading. I figure I will be doing a lot of reading stuck on an island and all! And I have loved sesame sticks ever since I can remember! These are really great on their own or added to a big green salad.
My next choice would have to be my favorite frozen pizza ever.
I'm really trying to think of things that I LOVE so I have a better chance of not getting too bored.
Just like needing salty and crunchy, I feel a deep need for chocolate in my life. I need a few squares every night to help my day feel complete, and to help me wind down!
I found this bar at the grocery near my apartment, and it is AMAZING! It has pieces of toffee and pretzels in it.  A little salty, a little sweet, perfect!
 I've already mentioned four things! I don't want to cancel anything. It already feels so limited! See, I'm not a good person to imagine being stranded! I'm that annoying person at a restaurant who cannot for the life make a decision!
I assume that since this is my fantasy strandation, I would have unlimited Yerba Mate to drink in the morning, but I would have to have another variety for different moods, or when  I need an extra jolt of caffeine. I discovered this tea at Target, it was a total impulse buy as I was only there to get litter, but it is so amazing!
I don't usually go crazy over pumpkin everything in the fall, but for whatever reason this sounded so good to me. I can't say it tastes like pumpkin pie, but it sure does taste like Chai with a little something extra! I like it with some vanilla sugar and a splash of plant milk! I feel like I would want something pumpkin flavored on an island, to remind me of a time when I wore sweaters.
I am having so much Mofoing fun participating in Mofo this year. I almost talked myself out of doing it for some dumb, insecure reason. It's funny how fear can really try to take so much from you. Anyway, it's been so amazing, and as usual it's so fun to discover new to me blogs, and make connections that I hope continue long after the month of September!
Caught in the act!

I mentioned awhile ago that two of my felines love to chew on the tops of pineapples! Well, yesterday Kanye  was stone cold busted!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Scrambles and Joe!

Today's Mofo prompt is to veganize an old family recipe. I knew what I had to do immediately. It isn't really a family recipe, but it is something that as a child I ate way too often. For the first eight years of my life it was just my mom and I, and we were far from well off. We had a home, clothes, and food, but things were tight and we certainly didn't have a lot of choices when it came to food. My mom always found a deal at our local Co-op on eggs, and vegetables. So, we had eggs on the daily, often times multiple times. She thought she was fooling everyone by getting fancy and making all kinds of quiches, putting in different veggies to really "switch it up". I often wondered as a child if she realized that it was still a quiche whether it had broccoli or green beans. To this day I feel deeply offended at the very mention of quiche, vegan or not. I'm almost gagging right now as I'm typing this.
So I knew I couldn't veganize the dreaded quiche, but I had to do something vegan eggy. I also remember that I used to love it when she would make breakfast for dinner. It just always seemed so willy nilly to throw caution to the wind and have some kind of breakfast food for dinner! My mom was way into health, and natural foods, so to eat a meal without a vegetable was certainly a novelty!
So, to honor my inner child, I decided to make a good old fashioned tofu scramble! I haven't made a tofu scramble in at least a year, maybe longer!
Avocado is technically a fruit, so still no veg!
I made my scramble with some red onion, and sliced tiny potatoes along with the usual scramble spices like turmeric, cumin, S&P, and nutritional yeast. I served it with corn tortillas and some sliced avocado. What really made this scramble remind me of my eggy youth is the addition of black salt!
If you really want to elevate your tofu scrambles, or tofu egg-less salad, this is your best friend. It adds that sulfur taste that only eggs have.
I liked this prompt, it reminded me to bring tofu scrambles back into my life.
I picked up some groceries at Trader Joe's yesterday, and i thought I would show some pictures, since I found a few new to me thangs!
Trader Joe's has finally decided to do their magic on my favorite frozen pizza of all time, Amy's roasted vegetable pizza! I love that pizza so much, but the price makes me cringe, and they are so rarely on sale! This was under five bucks, and I am stoked! This pizza proves that vegan or not, pizza doesn't have to have cheese to be a treat!
What's inside!
This salad is called Balela. It has chickpeas, tomatoes, black beans, canola oil, onions, vinegar and parsley. It is very delicious, and I will be recreating this soon. It's very fresh tasting, so I can only imagine how fresh it will taste when I've made it, well FRESH! I found it near the sandwiches if you are interested.
What doesn't belong in this photo?
What I love so much about Trader Joe's besides everything is they don't price organic produce that much higher than conventional produce. If I could afford it, I would buy all organic all the time, but in some cases I just can't afford it. If you like to use raw cashews for making creamy sauces, buy the cashew pieces instead of the whole cashews. Two dollars cheaper for the same amount!
If you like drinking Yerba Mate, check out Trader Joe's organic Yerba Mate. I love it, and it is under four dollars for twenty five tea bags!
Good morning!
I woke Stevie up from a snoring slumber to take this picture. She has the right lounging idea!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ladies Who Lunch

Today's Mofo prompt is lunch on the go. Believe it or not, this is one of the tougher ones for me. For so many reasons, lunch is a meal I very rarely eat. I guess I usually consider my juice or smoothie my lunch. Since I have most often been a restaurant server by trade, I just naturally learned how to live on two meals a day. You don't get a break when you work at a restaurant. Like even if you work a ten hour shift. I once worked at a restaurant that was severely customer deficient, and no joke I could go two hours with not one customer, and the minute I wold try to sit and eat, someone would come in at that very moment. Without fail. I am not a person that likes to eat on the go. I don't want to be eating, and halfway through my meal get up to serve someone, and have to cater to their every whim. So, I learned to eat a hearty breakfast, go however long without eating, and then have dinner, or at least some food when I get home. Old habits die hard, and lunch just never has become a thing for me.
When I was a nanny, I still didn't get any scheduled breaks, but I sometimes would eat lunch with the kid. When that would happen, it was usually leftovers from the night before, or some type of sandwich or wrap. Something quick and easy.
I love Trader Joe's Lavash bread. It makes the best wraps. I feel like it holds up much better than regular tortillas. You can also really fill these up with veggies. My go to wrap is hummus or vegan cream cheese and tons of veggies like lettuce, cucumbers, shredded carrots, and whatever else I have in my fridge. I like to just basically have a hand held salad.
I recently discovered Sweet Earth frozen burritos, and I would definitely use these as a quick lunch on the go.
This is one of my favorites. It has seitan, peas, potatoes, and lentils. It is flavored with curry spices, and it is soooo delicious! I used to treat myself to an Amy's frozen vegan burrito every now and then, but these are so much better! I love this company. They are a vegetarian company, so some of their burritos have cheese, read the labels!
I like to keep a box of some type of veggie burger on hand for when I just can't be bothered to cook. I like taking those for lunch back in the day too. I recently tried this new to me burger.
I haven't bought anything by Yves is quite some time. When I first went vegan, I used to use a lot of their meat substitutes. I also relied on them when cooking for non veg heads. When I lived in PA. you really didn't see this company around as much. Some of their stuff does have egg, so seeing the word vegan on the front made me happy! These burgers are similar to the Beast Burger, and Field Roasts burger. It's not made of veggies, it's going for the beef loving crowd. They're good. If you like boca burgers, these are similar, but they're more substantial. Yves did great with this one!
This delicious mess is what I made for dinner last night, and it's a perfect example of amazing leftovers! It's brown rice, with some corn and black beans, refried beans, salsa, green onion, a little daiya, and topped wit some homemade cashew sour cream. Delicious, cheap, and comforting. Since I mostly cook for myself only, leftovers are a common item in my fridge.
I'm looking forward to reading today's posts. Maybe I will get inspired to make lunch more of a priority!

Friday, September 18, 2015

So Much Inspiration!

Today's Mofo prompt is by far one of my favorites. It is to Honor a human or a non-human animal who inspires your veganism. I have so many inspirations, and most of them are animals. But I also have to honor my late grandparents who I loved so much it hurts. When I was little and I would spend time with them, they would always read to me before I went to sleep. On a side note, they really inspired my deep love of reading and books also, but back to veganism! I am not even close to exaggerating when I say that I had two books I had them read to me. Black Beauty and The Black Stallion. I never wanted little cutesy kids books read to me, and I just had them read these two books OVER AND OVER! For years! They were probably partying the night away when I was able to read myself! Ha! I felt so many emotions when I heard these stories, and I deeply felt for these beautiful animals, and I so wanted to jump into the book and kick all of these people's asses. I just could not understand how humans could even think about being so cruel. I have never forgotten those two books, and even typing this is making me get some feels. My grandparents also had three dogs that I ADORED! Angel, Lucy, and Muffy. I had a deep connection with Muffy, and I used to love playing in the backyard with them. It was at a very young age that I discovered I preferred the company of non-human animals.

I've always thought of animals as equals. As a kid, we had a large dog, and several cats. All the animals slept with me, and I had a normal kids sized bed. On the regular I woke up on the floor, with Tut(the dog) and the kitties all stretched out on my bed. My mom would always say "you know, that is your bed, you're allowed to move them" and I would just kind of think "whatever mom". Even now, I wake up on the regular with a stiff back because I don't want to disturb any of my feline family. And yes, I have fallen out of bed several times lately!
My mom also was a big animal lover, and even though I have issues with her in other ways, I appreciate that she not only taught me to love and respect animals, but she taught me to be a warrior for animals. We lived on a Christmas tree farm for awhile, and had over nine acres that was our property, but it was all wild and there were no fences or anything. Every year when it was hunting season, my mom would put on a fluorescent snow suit, and patrol our property and protect it from hunters. She got into many confrontations with idiotic men with guns, and she never once backed down or let these morons intimidate her. And if she ever saw someone mistreating an animal, it was on. I am so grateful that she passed that on to me. I'm a very non-confrontational person, but if I see you mistreat an animal, I become the most confrontational person you have ever met in your life.
I can't write this post without acknowledging PETA. I was living my life as a vegetarian, feeling pretty damn kind and compassionate in my dietary choices. I hate admitting this, but I let my love of cheese keep me in the dark about the dairy industry. One afternoon (it was a Saturday) I was strolling through Ballard which is my absolute favorite neighborhood in Seattle. I happened to grab a PETA flyer that was near other papers, which is odd because in all honesty I don't very often love what PETA does. I am usually too scared to look at anything PETA related because of the graphic nature. So I grabbed this flyer, and it was about veganism, and there were no graphic images, so I actually read it. It very calmly and rationally pointed out the absolute atrocities that go on in the dairy and egg industry, and it pointed out that many of the meat farmers also are selling dairy and eggs, so you are still supporting the whole industry. But unlike a lot of articles from PETA, this one was very non-judgmental, and very non attention grabbing. It was giving me facts, not trying to shock me. I went vegan the minute I finished reading it. Cold turkey, no planning, no researching, I just did it. It was the right thing to do, and I strongly feel that in a life of decisions I wish I could change, this is the hands down best decision I have and probably will ever make in my life!
Although I have learned much more about healthy eating as a vegan , and I definitely feel healthier that ever, I'm vegan for the animals, forever and ever. I don't care about trendy superfoods, raw, not raw, skinny not skinny. I do get sucked into that weird vegan vortex sometimes, but at the end of the day I care about animals and their well being.
Very Superstitious!
BFFs for Life!
Sisters and friends!
The top picture is Stevie, named after Stevie Wonder, the second is of course Mr. Daiya himself, Dylan, and the bottom is a rare cuddle moment with Scrappy and Afro. These dorks inspire me every day to be a better person. I could never truly articulate how much I have learned about love, and patience, and commitment from these cats.