Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pizza of the Gods

I have made a lot of homemade vegan pizzas in my day. Most of them were just okay. I have used other vegan cheeses before, and they were just okay. I have made it many different ways. Never before I have I fallen in love like this.

The very best pizza I have ever made. EVER.

Homemade crust. Pizza sauce (from a jar, regretfully). Mushrooms, of course. Black olives. "Pepperoni" crumbles made with TVP. And to top off the magic, Daiya vegan cheese, both the cheddar and mozzarella.

Really there aren't many things that I have missed since going vegan two years ago. Maybe Dove chocolates. But definitely pizza with cheese. And here I have it. Not the healthiest meal, obviously, but good god! A woman needs pizza once in a while. Like Spongebob says, it's good for your soul.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baking It

I am feeling physically better after hurting my back the other day. There's nothing worse than being laid up on the couch unable to cook for myself or anything. I was so thrilled to be able to do dishes again and try out some new recipes with all my rockin' ingredients. I can't believe I was thrilled to do dishes, but it's true. I don't like being helpless. But thank goodness I have some awesome kids that like to help their mom. They are capable of much more than they let on...

Anyhow, I took some strong drugs the other night to get some sleep...and wow, did I sleep. I slept a lazy, pain free, comfortable, floating on a cloud, swimming in my mind sleep. And while I lie there in my Vicodin-induced stupor, it occurred to me that I am losing my sweet tooth. This is not 100 percent true, but I am losing my craving for processed sugar. At least the "gotta have it now or I will die" kind of cravings. I am also losing my taste for cooked food, although I suspect when winter comes I will get that back. I just LOVE the way I feel when I eat raw, healthful meals. L-O-V-E love it. I feel energetic, clean, pure, radiant

I have been eating mostly raw the past week or so. I try to make the morning and afternoon raw and eat a cooked meal at night with the family. Last night I made stir-fry with fake chicken, and although it was delicious, I don't care to have any more tonight. I am going to try out a new recipe from Ani Phyo, one that involves marinated portabello mushrooms and a broccoli mash.

I have also been eating a ton of fruit, but that's so easy this time of year. I kept track of what I ate the other day and it turned out by the end of the day I had eaten eight or nine servings of fruits and veggies.

Yesterday I made the Black Sesame Sunflower Bread from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. It took about five hours in the dehydrator, then I broke it into pieces and put it in the refrigerator. Today for lunch I made some guacamole and went to raw heaven...

Last night was craving something chocolate, because that has not completely gone away. I also wanted something relatively healthy. I found a recipe for Banana Bread Macaroons that was unbelievably simple. I mean, come on! Mashed bananas, almond meal, coconut, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder. That's all! Other than the chocolate chips, there was no sugar.

While these were baking in the oven, two kids came in at different times wondering what that horrible smell was. Then Grace tried one right away and didn't like it. Too bad. More for me, I guess. I thought they were yummy. And they cured my sweet tooth for sure.

Off to marinate my mushrooms, do some yoga, shower, and try to get some writing done. Happy eating!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pudding and Grilled Cheeze Love

I was sooo excited to discover on Saturday that my favorite health food store is now carrying Daiya vegan cheese. OMG EXCITED! I bought two bags ($4.99 each, ouch!), one cheddar, one mozzarella. I haven't tried the mozzarella but I am planning a homemade pizza night soon. Yesterday I made the most amazing grilled cheeze with the cheddar and some flatbread. Grace got a hold of it and took half of it from me, then made me make her another one. Then Garrett got in on it. Grilled gooey cheeze perfection. I should have taken a picture, but there was no time with all the nom nom nom going on around here. The cheddar tastes unbelievably like American cheese when it melts on a sandwich. This stuff rocks!

Last night I made a recipe from this fabulous web site called "Oh She Glows." I am loving this site so much...I tried the chocolate pudding and it was really good...very rich and sweet. Almost too sweet. I used half the amount of agave nectar called for, and it was still sweeter than it needed to be. My pudding did not look at tasty as hers, though. It was not as dark brown, it was runnier, and it looked like something I won't mention here because it's a food blog. I couldn't taste the avocado, which was a good thing. I once tried an avocado pudding that was really nasty tasting. I love avocados, but I don't want to taste them with chocolate.

The almond butter is what sold me on these. I could taste that, and sweet chocolate. Much healthier, easier, and tastier, than any other puddings. I have made other ones with silken tofu. To tell you the truth, I am getting tired of making everything with soy. This pudding is goooooood stuff!

Now that I have tons of groceries and great food in my house to make whatever I want, I am off to look at my cookbooks and plan my meals for the day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stocking Up

Sigh. I'm exhausted after a long day of shopping with the kids. I put on a lot of miles today driving all over the countryside and across state lines to get all the food I wanted at the best deals. My first stop was my fave Amish farm, where I spent a whopping twelve dollars. And I got kale! She had kale! She commented that only myself and one other lady buy the Swiss chard and kale.

I also got a bag of peaches, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, red onions, two tomatoes, and green peppers. I then went to the B&D, where I had fabulous luck finding great things. Not Vegenaise great, but still. TWO bags of almond meal at a dollar a piece! I can't find it in a store for less than $10. I also snatched up some cans of coconut water, some soy flour, organic ground flax meal, and two bags of organic whole flax seeds. Then Garrett and I let out a collective gasp of pleasure when I spotted our favorite chips there for 50 cents a bag. I cleaned them out.

Then it was off to a real grocery store for some other things...tons and tons of fresh produce. Blueberries to freeze, raspberries, pineapple, watermelon, bananas, avocados, apples, kiwi, grapes, a few more veggies...and then one more stop that was twenty miles away for a few more things. And the worst (best?) part is, I need to make one more stop tomorrow at my favorite health food store for some raw nuts and seeds.

I'm sure nobody cares what I bought at the grocery store. Blogs are really so narcissistic. But whatever. I am really excited about what I can make now that my refrigerator is full again. I am eager to try more raw recipes and make some new salads. I am eager for my friend to come over so I can make a beautiful raw dessert for us, and I hope that it turns out. I can't wait to blog about the new recipes.

But not tonight. Tonight it's something easy and fast, because now I am lazy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Raw Cheeze

I checked out this amazing book from the library the other day, and I never want to take it back.

I read through it like a novel the first day. And today I tried my first recipe. I was in the mood for some sort of spread or pate. I have never made a raw cheeze before, but I certainly will be doing it again! I found the recipe for Italian Pizza Cheeze and saw that I had all the ingredients. I cut the recipe by 1/4, because I only had 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, but that's okay, because the recipe is for four servings. I used my little baby food processor that I bought years ago for making baby food. Man, I love that thing! It really comes in handy sometimes.

I picked the basil off my plant, and threw in some fresh oregano for fun. And man, was it garlicky! My breath is going to reek for a while, but it was totally worth it.

I chose to eat this with Triscuit crackers. For one thing, it was pretty much all I had in the cupboard. For another, as far as processed crackers go, Triscuits aren't that bad. They only have a few ingredients, and no sugar or HFCS. I would rather have used a raw cracker, but I didn't have any made. Whatever. It was delicious.

I could have blended it longer to make it more creamy, but I was getting really hungry. And it didn't matter. As it was, it reminded me of ricotta cheese. How can blending up some nuts and lemon juice and herbs taste like cheese? I don't know. It is magical. And unbelievably healthy. And fabulously delicious.

I need to buy more nuts!!

Seriously considering another raw food fast, but for a week this time. All I need to do is be prepared, and organized (ah, that sounds so easy!), and I can eat tons of good food without being hungry.

Tonight, a raw banana split, made with frozen banana chocolate "ice cream."

It's so much fun I could burst!

Friday, July 16, 2010


You must check out this blog, it's very cool. Although it's not always vegan, I still follow it. She likes to post food that is sugar free, gluten free, and dairy free. She is also awesome because she is giving away some really cool stuff. I like that, as you know. Right now she is offering some really wonderful ingredients that I could do some great things with. Small tapioca pearls, organic cashews, chia seeds, and liquid stevia.

I have been meaning to get me some chia seeds. I have heard they are really nutritious and make a great addition to lots of recipes, including puddings.

I really wish that I had access to some young coconuts. They are almost impossible to find around here, and I really can't afford to order them online. I could make so many raw recipes, and I could use them in smoothies, or just eat them raw and get all the nutritional benefits.

The name of the blog is The Spunky Coconut. That's what made me think of coconuts. It wasn't totally random.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Holy Heat Index

Yesterday was unbelievable. The temperature was around 90 degrees and the humidity was off the charts. Thankfully, I have no life and therefor sat in my AC-cooled house all day. Except the time I had to run to the store for a few things...walking out the door felt like stepping into an oven; a wet, steamy oven. It was hard to breathe. I knew that I did not want to cook anything, and especially did not want to use my oven.

I looked up salad recipes for a while, trying to decide what I wanted. I found a few recipes, and decided to wing it and make my own. I used quinoa, because it's awesome, and I haven't cooked any for a long time. In it I threw some of my favorite things: broccoli, red pepper, green onion, garbanzo beans, and diced avocado. For the dressing I just threw together a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and Mrs. Dash.

The result? It was okay. I think it needed more dressing. It was a little bit blah. But I am going to keep working on it.

I ate this salad outside. Then I had to come back in. When I walked in the house, it felt like a refrigerator in here compared to the outdoors.

I'm sure there are people (like Tonya from Texas) who think this heat is nothing. I don't care. I would rather be inside than trying to breathe and function without passing out in that kind of tropical weather.

Today, however, is a different story. The humidity passed with the storm we had last night. I am heading out now to read a book in the shade and eat some fresh pineapple.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Holy Grail

At last the day has come. I have been searching in vain for the perfect vegan brownie recipe. I have made several attempts. Some of them I have mentioned before. Nothing ever quite did it. And tonight I came across the simplest, easiest, fastest, most slap-in-the-forehead why-the-heck-didn't-I-try-this-before recipe ever.

It has everything a recipe shouldn't. White flour. White sugar. Oil. Stuff I usually don't bake with. Herein lies my problem. I threw aside any concerns for my health and just went for pure gooey ecstasy.

And then I added chocolate chips.

Instead of copying someone else's recipe I will just give you the link. Click on it now.

You're welcome.

I am in serious need of a glass of soy milk now.

Sorry about the quality of the picture. They were still really hot and I couldn't wait any longer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I really hope that last post did not make me sound like a know-it-all douchebag that thinks he/she is smarter than everyone else. That was not what I intended. I don't know everything. I just believe that the average American doesn't know or care about just how bad their diet and lifestyle is for them, or for the planet. I just wish more people really cared.

That's all. Carry on.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegan Venting

This weekend was full of family get-togethers, food, fireworks, and rain. Saturday was hot and humid, and we had a party at my cousin's house for her birthday, which also coincides with a city-wide celebration that ends in fire works. It was a fun time. I made a broccoli cauliflower salad that was delicious, and brought veggie burgers for Garrett and me. There was also fresh fruit to eat, so I was happy. My uncle, who is a meat-eating machine, grilled burgers and brats and hot dogs for everyone.

At the end of the night, after everyone had been drinking for a while, my uncle started picking on my vegan diet. My uncle is awesome; I love him dearly and he has always been my favorite uncle. He teases me because he loves me. He is a lot like my dad in some ways (they are brothers). He tries to get me all riled up because he thinks it's funny.

He started in about how it's just as mean to kill plants, and he doesn't see the difference. My husband joined in the good-natured ribbing. I usually avoid any kind of discussion about it, because there is no point. They will never see my point of view, they will never even remotely come close to understanding why I do it. I forget sometimes how strange it is to them, how extreme and crazy it must seem. This is how I live, and I am quite used to it.

The people that give me the worst time about my diet are 99 percent of the time one or more of the following: overweight, on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems, type two diabetes, etc.

I just want to glare at them and say, "Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? You're giving me a hard time?"

I fell for it, I opened my mouth. Instead of going the poor animal route, one that they don't give a shit about, I went for the health argument. I said, "If you go to the doctor and you are having heart problems, are they going to tell you to eat more meat? Suggest that you aren't getting enough bratwurst? I don't think so!"

There was some laughter and that was that. I know they were not attacking me personally, but it still made me feel sad, and I couldn't shake it. It really reinforced the feeling that there is nobody



around me in my everyday life that gets it. (Okay, Garrett kind of gets it.)

And I felt really alone for a moment.

The part that makes me feel the worst is that these people that I love and are surrounded by are damaging their health in ways that I can see, and they cannot. These family members that love meat and cheese and eat tons of it every day are going to get sick, they are going to love shorter lives, and during the shorter life, they are probably not going to feel well. It kills me that I have knowledge I could share with them about how to eat better, not just pushing veganism or saying I'm better than them, but eating better, taking care of your body, and nobody is interested.

This includes my husband. I would like to have him around for a long, long time. I feel completely powerless.

I believe that food is more than just something to fill our bellies until the next meal, something that we need to survive. The food we eat, and the things we choose to put in our bodies, affect our minds, our mood, our karma, every cell in our bodies, our behavior, our complete and total well-being. We have a choice as to what we can do, how we want to feel, and we need to take notice, pay attention, word hard, and stand up for it. No matter what.

No recipe today. I just needed to vent.