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Day 29 and 30 & Tuesdays With Dorie: French Bread September 30, 2014

My days tend to run into each other, and I then I forget what is going on.

Currently, I am the only person in the household that has not succumbed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth.  Emma caught it at her second day of Mother’s Day Out and then proceeded to pass it around the house.  I am pretty sure that I haven’t gotten it because of my life in food service. I have been trained to wash my hands ALL the time, and surprisingly that is the one thing they say that will prevent you from getting it.

I would also like to confess that we went away for the weekend, without the kids and dogs, and I failed.

I have a new found respect for all vegans because now I know what you must struggle thru while traveling to find some place to eat with vegan options. Especially, when you are in the middle of the country.  I guess then you just plan ahead and bring snacks and meals with you.  I did not plan ahead and after sitting in a car for 5 hours and not having anything to eat since the night before (it was 1 pm by then), I caved.

I apologize now, sorry.

When I got home I went straight back to eating Vegan.  You know what, it was a good lesson to learn because I have figured out how to fuel my body.  Surprisingly, I really like the way I feel and my body looks when I am eating Vegan.  So, for the most part I will probably stick to a plant based diet/lifestyle.

Now, back to some yummy things that I made when I got back home.

Yesterday morning, I wanted something that reminded me of fall. Since we were up in the mountains it was cool and perfect, leaves weren’t falling yet.  I got back home and it was a bit humid, warmer, and just not pleasant.  I wanted something to remind me of the nice fall weather in the mountains.  So I made the Gingerbread Waffles from Vegan Brunch.  I tried to make them as pancakes for the girls, but they didn’t turn out right.  Granted, they still ate them but they were a little gummy.  Then I threw them in the waffle maker, I only have a Belgium Waffle Maker, and of course they wouldn’t crisp up.  So for these you definitely just want a regular waffle maker.  They did work nicely toasted in the toaster the next day.

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Earlier this afternoon, I made the Chewy Coconut Date Bars from Isa Does It.  They turned out really good, but I think I needed to bake them just a bit longer.  They are currently individually wrapped in plastic and hanging out in the fridge.  I am sure these are going to end up being my breakfast for the next few days.  They would be perfect with a cup of coffee.  I am also planning to make the Chewy Peanut-Chocolate Chip Bars later this week.100_4112

Last but definitely not least is the French Bread that I made a couple of weeks back from Baking With Julia.  Oh, French Bread with your perfect ingredients of Water, Salt, Yeast, and Flour.  I alluded to my original problem and why I was a day late baking these, but lets revisit my quest for compressed yeast.

The last time that I bought compressed yeast was about a year ago, and I froze the left overs.  I knew that there was no way that the yeast was still alive, but I still had to wait 24 hours for it to defrost in the fridge before I could test it. Which involves sugar and a bit of water.  While I waited, I decided to take the girls with me to the last place I bought it.  I have both girls in tow, 1 year old and a 3 year old, of course I didn’t grab a cart so I am carrying one and holding the others hand. We get to where it would be and I see a sign for it, but no product.  I ask an employee, who brings another one over, and explain what I am looking for. He informs me that he has never seen it before, and I tell him that last time I saw it was a year ago.  So it looks like they don’t carry it anymore.

I did do some research and found a conversion factor to figure out how much active dry yeast I needed.  Which was 3 tsp (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast to the 0.6 oz compressed yeast. So, I just had to wait a day to figure out if the yeast was alive.  While I was waiting, I ended up with a day with no kids. How this happened, I have no idea.  I ended up swinging by a store I had never been to and talked to a nice gentleman that informed me that they didn’t carry it and he hasn’t seen it in any local grocery stores in awhile.  Oh well, I guess I will just go home and test the yeast….

it was DEAD.  Back to where I started with no compressed yeast and my conversion factor.  I guess I wasted 24 hours when I could have had the bread made and then entry posted on the blog.  Lesson learned…use what you have.

The bread turned out great, but my knives sucked for slashing the bread.  Even the REALLY sharp ones didn’t work well.  Guess I need a razor blade for next time :)

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I am still planning to make some Boston Cream Donuts soon, so stay tuned for those, even though it won’t be Vegan MoFo anymore.

 

Vegan Day 21, 22, and 23 September 24, 2014

Day 21

We ended up having a Viva Vegan themed night.  Granted, I probably should have made more food but we have been feeling a bit under the weather so we didn’t want to eat too much anyways. I ended up making Arepas with Sexy Avocado Tempeh Filling and Coconut Tres Leches Cake.  Surprisingly, I really liked the Arepas.  I didn’t think I would because I am not that big of a fan of Tempeh but the recipe was actually really good and Mike also liked it.  The Coconut Tres Leches Cake was also a big hit.  I wasn’t too sure about the topping, but tasting everything together, it worked perfectly.  Mike actually liked it too, which is very surprising since he doesn’t like the texture of coconut.  He said that since I used shredded unsweetened that it was okay because the bits were small enough that it wasn’t off putting.  I have also witness him eat a couple of slices, so I know that he was telling me the truth. For the flavorings of the cake and topping, I played it safe and just used vanilla.

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Day 22

…was pretty uneventful.  I worked that night, so I just had leftovers of Stuffed Peppers.  I almost caved and had pizza when I got home, but I battled thru and grabbed an apple and some peanut butter for a snack.

Day 23

I have no witty banter or anything to leave you with today.  I have been sick for a few days and it is taking its toll on me.  I keep thinking I will be able to do my 5k training and then my body betrays me, so I am trying to get better.  Because of the sickness going around the house, I called Mike while he was at work and requested Pho.  The closest place is near Mike’s work which is 30 minutes from the house.  So he agreed to pick me up Vegetarian Pho, Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Eggrolls.  I did check the ingredients in everything and it all listed ingredients that were Vegan, no animal products here.  So that made me very happy.  Everything was very good, and actually helped me battle thru this insane cold.

My French Bread post will have to wait until next Tuesdays since I was unable to post this until Wednesday.

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Vegan Days 18 – 20 September 21, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan,Vegan MoFo — pastrybrush @ 12:57 pm
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Day 18

I am still living off of the Potato and Kale Soup with Sizzling Chorizo. It is going to last me a few more days :)

I did happen to go into the freezer and take out just ONE Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffin. Do you know how hard it is to only grab one. I was actually very surprised with my self control.

Earlier in the week I was suppose to make French Bread for Tuesdays with Dorie, but I was having some issues finding compressed yeast.  Well I never found it so I ended up making the bread today. I will post more about it on day 23, since rules state that I need to actually post on a Tuesday.  But let me just say, the bread is VEGAN and yummy.

Day 19

YAY, the husband is home. He actually came in late on Day 18, but to celebrate I made Sinfully Wholesome Waffles (Isa Does It) for breakfast.  They made everyone’s tummies very happy.

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Side note because I like to put a buttered flavored product on my waffles, I have found that I really like the flavor of Earth Balances Soy Garden Buttery Spread.  Which is funny because I don’t really like the flavor of soy that much.  I stopped using soy milk in baked goods just because of that.  But I find that I prefer this spread over the Vegan Buttery Sticks and the Original Buttery Spread.  I guess you find things that surprise you every day.

Day 20

Mike turns to me and asks if I am making anything special for dinner, or have anything planned.  I have been exhausted the past few days and I think one of the girls got me sick.  So I have been stuck in that limbo phase of not being full blown sick, but you know it is coming and you are just fall down tired.  Needless to say, I spent most of the day asleep when I wasn’t entertaining the girls.

I turned to Mike and informed him that there were Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers (Vegan with a Vengeance)  in the freezer and that would just be fine with me.  So, we defrosted them a bit in the microwave and them slapped them into a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 1 hour.  They turned out great and I was informed that if I wanted to make that again that I could.  It makes me feel good when I get approval on Vegan meals from the family, and I think Mike appreciates it that he is not doing the cooking.

I am finding being Vegan getting easier and easier each day. I really don’t crave non-vegan items.  But I am interested in trying the Vegan Pizza at Z-Pizza, so that might happen for my last week.

Oh, I will get to visit a Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant next week too.  So I am looking forward to trying some new things that I haven’t had :)

More than likely I am going to extend this vegan adventure into October and try to stick with it the best that I can.

 

Day 16 and 17 Vegan September 20, 2014

Filed under: Soup,Vegan,Vegan MoFo — pastrybrush @ 10:57 pm
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100_4056Day 16

I really need to stay away from all of those muffins that I baked. So I put them in the freezer.  I was hoping since they were out of sight it would help me not eat all of them in one day because they are REALLY good.

So far, so good :)

I ended up making myself the Pad Thai Salad from Appetite for Reduction. I did make some modification because I didn’t have any bean sprouts.  I ended up adding cucumbers and tomatoes to the salad and it was just the thing I needed to make me feel better about eating a few too many muffins yesterday.

For dinner I made the Potato and Kale Soup with Sizzling Chorizo from Viva Vegan.  I ended up changing a few things in the recipe so that I could bring out more flavor in the ingredients.  The original recipe said to add the onions, potatoes, garlic, herbs, and liquid and bring to a boil. Which I am assuming is traditional for this type of soup.  Well, I discarded tradition for a bit.  I sautéed the onion in 1 tablespoon of annatto oil until they were tender then added the garlic and cooked for a minute until fragrant.  Then I added in the herbs, potatoes, and vegetable stock. Brought it to a boil, let simmer for 25 minutes until the potatoes were done, mashed the potatoes a bit.  Added in a 1 pound bag of frozen kale from Trader Joe’s (more than the recipe called for, but it also uses fresh).  At the ended you adjust the seasonings and add some white wine vinegar to taste.  Cook up your vegan chorizo, I used Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo, and sprinkled it on top of the soup.  I didn’t add any additional olive oil or annatto oil to the recipe.

I would like to take a bit to express my love for Trader Joe’s. 1) I really do love everything that I have tried there, and 2) the cashier praised the crap out of the Soy Chorizo and she was right.  It is FANTASTIC!!! Speaking as an omnivore, that might be my go to Chorizo because I don’t need the grease and the yucky feeling I get after eating the “real” stuff.

Back to the soup, I really loved it and I have been living off of it while my husband is at his conference.  I am definitely making that again.  Now I just need to go get more potatoes and make a trip to TJ’s for some Soy Chorizo :)

Day 17

Very uneventful, just eating leftovers, going to work, and doing my 5k training.

 

Day 13, 14, and the start of 15 September 15, 2014

Day 13

Just an FYI I REALLY like Morning Star Grillers Vegan Burgers. I just find the flavor on them to be exactly when I am looking for when I want a burger.  I have been topping them with Vegan Mayo and Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms. Now I just need to find a good Vegan white cheese and I will be good.  I also find that I prefer Trader Joe’s Soy Yogurt over other name brands because it doesn’t have a very strong soy taste like other do.  I am not really a fan of the soy flavor. I am cool with it in coffee drinks or a latte but as a yogurt or in baked goods, I just use a different non-dairy milk (rice or almond).

So, my husband left for a conference on day 13 and I had to just wing something for dinner. I had been eyeing the Nachos in Isa Does It, but then I forgot to buy chips. I decided to make the girls some baked French Fries with their dinner and decided I was going to make myself some chili cheese fries.  I have already bought a can of Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Chili, and I checked the ingredients and it was free and clear of any animal ingredients.

YAY!!!

100_4025I got out Isa Does It and proceeded to make the Queso Blanco, which is featured on a good number of pages.  I had every thing on hand, which is surprising because I usually don’t have jalapeños.  But it is the end of summer and our pepper plants are still producing like mad, so I have A LOT of jalapeños.  I was very surprised how quick every thing came together. I didn’t have time to soak my cashews, but I did notice in the ABCs to soaking that if you had a high powered blended that you didn’t need to soak.

THANK YOU to the VITAMIX GODS!!!!!

I put everything together and was surprised just how good the Queso Blanco is.  I don’t think I need to ever have nacho cheese sauce again because I have the perfect substitute. It isn’t even a substitute it is too good.  Now I need to find some chips and I will be in dipping heaven.  Maureen also enjoyed my chili cheese fries because she crawled into my lap while I was eating it and I proceeded to feed her the beans out of the chili.

Day 14

Very uneventful.

But I did make Puffy Pancakes again for the girls. I almost killed myself when I forgot to add the sugar, so I had to dump it back into the bowl, add the sugar and mix, and then put it back in the pancake pen.  All the while, Emma was asking when the pancakes were going to be ready.

Day 15

Is going great.

I made the Blueberry Bran Muffins (Isa Does It) again and then I also made the Banana-Nut Muffins (Isa Does It).  I had a few bananas about to go bad and I figured the muffins were the next best thing. Everyone loves banana bread, so I knew they would like these.  While in the middle of making them I discovered that I was out of pecans, so I made Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins.  I just used 1 cup walnuts and 1/2 chocolate chips.  I was indulging while I was writing my blog posts and I am finally getting my first cup of coffee for the day.

Some miracle happened and both girls are asleep. It is more than likely because I was woken up at 5:30 am to Emma crying that she needed changed because she peed her diaper.  After changing her, and reading her the story she requested I crawled back in bed only to be woken up an hour later to her asking if she can sleep with me.  Why not, daddy isn’t here and the two dogs don’t hog too much of the bed.  Then I had to wake Maureen up early because Emma goes to “school” on Mondays.  So, Mommy is sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, and enjoying her Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins.

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Days 11 and 12 VEGAN!!!

Day 11

I went ALL out for dinner.

I made Chickpea Cutlets with Sweet Vidalia Onion Sauce (Veganomicon), Caulipots (Appetite for Reduction), and Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions.  For dessert we had…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE……

GRASSHOPPER PIE

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Boom, mind exploded.

I have made the Chickpea Cutlets before and remembered really liking them.  I decided to do the Sweet Onion Sauce with them because I always have onions on hand.  For the sauce I did think it wasn’t saucy enough so I added Vegetable Stock to it for more liquid and then I thickened it up with a slurry of flour and vegetable stock. When I was making dinner I was trying to have everything ready when Mike got home, so I actually made the sauce all the way thru (except for thickening it) and had the cutlets formed and ready to sauté up.  I also made the Caulipots (Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes) a bit early because I knew they would stay warm.

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I also made small plates up for each of the girls, Maureen (1 years old) tried every thing on her plate and seemed to enjoy it. Emma was passed out on the couch because she had a big day with her Grandma. But Emma did wake up to have some Green Pie, and declared that she loved the pie and it was the best pie ever. Mike actually liked everything, and ate it all.  He also suggested that I make the Caulipots for Christmas because he really liked those.

Day 12 

I made the Blueberry Maple Bran Muffins (Isa Does It) for breakfast and the whole family gobbled them up.  I did omit the maple extract because I couldn’t find any.  So I guess I should say, I made Blueberry Bran Muffins.  Both girls loved them and I really couldn’t get enough of them. Someone should have probably slapped my hand a few times when I went over and grabbed another one to eat.  Emma actually had two muffins and Maureen threw a mini fit until we have her bits of her own muffin.  She the proceeded to eat the rest of one of Emma’s muffins.

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Eating vegan has been going very well, but as you will see from my posts it has been pie and baking. So it hasn’t been very healthy, but it has been yummy.  I am still keeping up with my 5k training so I haven’t been worrying about it and I haven’t gained weight either.

 

Days 8-10 Vegan September 11, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Dinner,Vegan,Vegan MoFo — pastrybrush @ 3:23 pm
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Not too much has happened in the past few days.  I have made a few items and I am making a good amount of stuff tonight for dinner (Day 11), but I will post about that when it is complete.

Day 8

I made the Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna from Veganomicon and I add the Almasan on top.  It was very good and the husband actually like it.

Do you know how hard it is for me to get him to eat tofu?

VERY

I tricked him once in the form of a chocolate pie.  He really liked the pie, but he wasn’t too happy with me when I told him there was tofu in it after the fact.  HAHAHAHAHAHA (evil laugh).

The Almasan was AWESOME!!! I could totally imagine putting that on top of popcorn.

With regard to the lasagna I used a little less spinach because I was having some issues fitting everything into the baking dish.  I thought I was going to have a drip mess in the oven so I baked it on a sheet pan, but surprisingly it didn’t drip at all.  I was EXTREMELY surprised because that lasagna was essentially over the top of the rim of the baking dish.  I did add sautéed onions to the marinara sauce along with some fresh basil.  I think next time I am going to sauté the spinach up with some garlic and season it with salt and pepper.  I would also give that same treatment to the mushrooms (which I had 20 oz instead of 16oz).  Essentially giving everything layers of flavor so that it isn’t too bland.

Oh yeah, and I love garlic so you can never have too much.

Day 9

IMG_4796You know how you have those days where you just NEED some carbs.  You don’t just want it, you NEED it.  Well that was me on Day 9.  I knew that Mike (the husband) wasn’t going to eat Coconut French Toast (Isa Does It).  It has nothing to do with flavor, he is fine with that. He doesn’t like the texture of coconut.  Since the Coconut French Toast is dipped in batter and then unsweetened shredded coconut, I knew it was a no go for him.  I made half the recipe because I knew I couldn’t eat 6 pieces of bread.  I used my leftover Whole Wheat French Bread that I made last week, and it turned out fantastic.  At first I was skeptical because I always put sugar in my French Toast batter and this one doesn’t have any. I decided to go with it just to see what happens.  The French Toast was rich from cooking it in coconut oil, so I didn’t need to put the usual vegan butter on top.  I just drizzled it with a little bit of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar and the sweetness was perfect.  I threw some frozen berries on the plate for some color.

I some how was able to do this with the girls playing in the other room.  But the peace didn’t last long when I heard Emma say, “Uh-oh” and then come into the kitchen looking for a cloth.  I walked into the living room and she had dropped her drink on the floor and it busted open.  So I had to clean that out of the carpet. Funny thing was my 1 year old came over to the carpet after I had cleaned it and tried to lick the floor like one of the dogs.

Crazy children :)

Day 10

Not too much has happened. My knees have been bothering me, and that is just because I am not a runner and I am training for a 5k.  I made it to the gym and I have gradually knocked off a minute from my average mile time in a week.  But trust me it isn’t close to being fast at all, progress is progress so I will take it. I haven’t been keeping up with the 21 day fix workouts this time around, but I have been sticking to my diet (lifestyle eating change).

I started making the Grasshopper Pie in Vegan Pie In The Sky so that we could have it for dessert on day 11 (today).  I am very excited for this pie, and I also thank my husband everyday that he bought me a Vitamix because it really helps with making pies and sauces with nuts (cashews).

Eating Vegan has been going very well, and I am surprised by the variety that I have been able to include in my diet.  My omnivore diet was not as varied.  I decided to step on the scale and just see if anything has happened because it has been hard for me to loose a couple of pounds lately.  I usually gain muscle and don’t lose weight at all or it is just slow going.  I always see results with regard to measurements just not on the scale.  So yeah, I lost 2 lbs in a week just changing to a Vegan diet.

 

 
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