Monday, April 8, 2013

Yoga Break and New Name

I have not been posting frequently. There, I said it. Well, I typed it. I was almost worried about it and then I remembered why I haven't been posting frequently. I am in Yoga Teacher Training and I am so close to certification. So close and yet a good amount of homework and practice teaching hours away. I have decided to focus all my extra time on my certification. My posts will be minimal until the first week in June as I complete my homework and teaching hours.

Connecting with my little vegan

There is a deep connection between yoga and being vegan. Yoga means to connect and when we eat we connect our bodies with the food we put in our mouths. Being vegan to me is to listen to my intuition and consciously eat the most healthful foods that cause the least amount of harm to anyone else including the Earth. When I eat, I am connecting to the idea of ahimsa. Ahimsa is seeing the connectedness of other beings to ourselves and feeling compassion and respect for them. It is important because this is the principle that explains that since we are all one, we certainly don’t want to cause harm to others (or eat them!).

I have so much to share when I get a chance. I am making a list right now so I don't forget.

- The Lucky 13's last teacher training cooking class
- Vegan food on a road trip with non vegan family
- Non vegan "friend" adding beef to my salad when I wasn't looking
- Our new wheat grass juicer!

We celebrated our Vegaversary at Park + Vine. We had brunch and it was fantastic!! We had two Danny's, a cinnamon roll from Sweet Peace Bakery and a side of vegan goetta. YUM.

The Danny- Tofu scramble, biscuit and gravy and potatoes, we added a serving of vegan goetta
Lastly, the Vegan Easter Dragon visited our place. I hear he is tight with Vegan Santa. He brought a very colorful, stuffed dragon who was guarding a small basket. You know how dragons like to protect things. The basket contained a few vegan treats and markers. Elena almost forgot to look for the basket once she found the dragon.

Vegan Easter Dragon

I am kicking around a new name that is less specific in hopes to attract more readers. Once I can devote more time to the blog, I would like to get back to more helpful information for families that are interested in or in the midst of a transition, recipes and requests. Any ideas, thoughts, etc. would be appreciated.

I will leave you with a recipe for a Chocolate Peanut Pie with a homemade crust. The pie was a block of silken tofu, a cup of peanut butter and a cup of melted vegan chocolate chips. So easy, melt the chips and then Vitamix it all up. Pour into the crust and chill for a few hours.

The crust was two cups of Nature Made Hemp granola ground into powder in the food processor and then mixed with 1/3 cup Earth Balance and a sprinkle of sugar. We pushed that into a pie tin and then cooked it for 6ish minutes on 350. Let it cool before using. We made this pie for Rebecca and Chris's Pi Day Pie Party.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Vegan Valentine

A few days before Valentine's Day, Elena informed me that she was looking forward to Valentine's Day because she loves our family's tradition of exchanging a lil something on special days. We always get up together on birthdays and the other holidays to give each other something small but that we really enjoy. I was thankful for the reminder because I had no idea Valentine's Day was coming up soon. I asked Jason to find a little dragon and a card for her. Elena and I set out to find something small for Jason. We ended up at Park + Vine as we needed vegan whipped cream for Elena's class party. They were making ice cream sundaes. At Park + Vine, we found the perfect sweet treat for Jason...a conversation heart cookie from Sweet Peace Bakery.

Be My Vegan Valentine!

Early Valentine morning, we exchanged our little gifts. I received the sweetest gift ever. Jason gave me a necklace from Christy Robinson Designs! The necklace is a baby goat made from recycled aluminum. The necklace is stamped with a lotus flower and the word "ahimsa". So sweet!!

Ahimsa Goat Necklace from Christy Robinson Designs


We decided to go to dinner as well to finish up our Valentine's Day or maybe we just wanted a reason to go back to Green Dog Cafe. Green Dog is a locally owned, environmentally conscience restaurant with lots of vegan options. Elena and I  shared the Green Dog Chili Fries and edamame while Jason had the Green Chow Chow Bowl. Oh my goodness, those fries were crazy good. I have thought about them often and I am looking for an excuse to go back.

Green Dog Vegan Chili Fries
Jason's Curry Chow Chow Bowl

Elena and I want to try brunch at Park + Vine soon so maybe on National Pi Day or Dentist Day, they are coming up soon.

To My Vegan Valentines,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Magic Cereal Dust Banana Muffins

I know, I know, it has been much too long to go without a post. I feel like my job is getting in the way of my life. If I could have those 40, well actually 45-48 hours back a week, I could get to everything. Ok, so on to bananas. I had 3 bananas that needed attention soon. They were soft and had brown spots so they were begging to be an egg substitute in some sort of baked good.

3 soft, brown bananas

I also had a bag of cereal dust that I had been collecting for a few months. Elena loves shredded wheat cereal, the kind of cereal that naturally breaks up into dust at the bottom of the bag. I had almost 1 full cup of the stuff so it was obvious what I had to do.

Almost a full cup of cereal dust

I had to make banana muffins and use the cereal to replace 1 cup of the flour! I added oats and cinnamon to stretch the dust to a full cup. I am not the best person to write down a recipe. I prefer general guidelines for ratios but I will try to include the recipe below...

2 cups flour (OR 1 cup of magical cereal dust and 1 cup flour)
1 cup sugar (vegan of course)
2 or 3 bananas
splash (not the best word) of baking soda
splash (still not right) of salt
splash (works this time) of vanilla extract
shake (more appropriate than splash) of ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup of Earth Balance

Damn, these muffins were delicious!

Magic Cereal Dust Banana Muffins!
This is a picture of my Gaga who is not vegan. I hardly ever see her and thought she looked most lovely in this picture so I included her! Love you Gaga. I should take her some muffins!
Coming soon- We had another compassionate cooking class in Yoga Teacher Training. I wanted to get the notes on what we made and the ingredients for this post so it is in the works. I can say that we enjoyed the best lasagna that I have ever had in my life, whole life including my non vegan life. Vegans do not eat bland, tasteless food.

To Muffins For Breakfast (and finding time to work on family's vegan blog),

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Green Dog Cafe

We are always looking for new vegan friendly restaurants. It can be challenging to dine out however not impossible. It is nice to add another restaurant especially an environmentally conscious one to our list. Jason and I never have afternoons alone together due to our schedules however a few weeks ago we both were home on a Friday. We decided to go out for lunch and wanted to check out a new place. I googled "vegan restaurants Cincinnati" and Green Dog Cafe pulled up. Green Dog Cafe is a locally owned restaurant that serves food from local and regional farmers, composts their waste, and focuses on operating green as well. We were intrigued and decided we would check it out. Check out their website to learn more...Green Dog Cafe

Cilantro Pesto Quesadillas

We ordered the cilantro pesto quesadillas for an appetizer. They were incredible. I could eat these as my main meal. We both highly recommend them. Jason ordered the "Hey Perro" wrap and I tried the Green Dog burger. We both agreed that our next dishes were good however lacked a little something. The ingredients were fresh and the employees were delightful. We still had a wonderful time and good meal.

"Hey Perro" wrap

Green Dog Burger

My sandwich was too big to eat in a civilized manner. I was a mess after tearing into it. Even with the lack of spice and my giant sandwich, we both are excited to go again. We can always ask for a cup of the yummy salsa to spice up our meal next time. Elena has not been so we have to go back. We discussed saving this next trip to Green Dog Cafe for our vegaversary which is right around the corner.

To supporting local restaurants,

Monday, January 21, 2013

An Apple, Tofu, Kale, Beans a Day...

If an apple keeps the doctor away what keeps someone with their doctor? I loved hearing my daughter's pediatrician tell us "we are partners working together to keep Elena healthy. You have an intuition and connection with your child that I don't have however I have the medical expertise and together we can do a pretty good job". She has answered every question we have had and takes the time to make sure we understand why she is doing what she is doing, asking, etc. We love her. Elena and I were a bit anxious however for her 9 year well visit. This would definitely be the visit where the vegan diet would come up. We were not worried that she would talk us out of it however we were worried that she would not support us.

Our worries were unnecessary! During the visit, the doctor started to ask Elena how many servings of fruit she ate a day. Elena looked at me as if to ask if this was the best time to reveal her exciting news however she refrained.  She was then asked about vegetables, grains and finally...meat. She didn't ask about protein, she asked about meat. Elena looked at me, smiled real big and slowly explained that we were vegan and she ate tofu, greens, and beans to get her protein. She stopped and waited for the doc's reaction. She simply said that a vegan diet can be very healthy as long as you make sure to get your nutrients and stay away from processed foods. Fist pump! We didn't have to explain or defend our diet and she agreed it could be very healthy.

Elena's height and weight were right on target and she was told she was a healthy little girl. We left  happy however we left with something else as well. About 6 days after the well visit, we returned only for her to be diagnosed with Influenza B. Elena had the flu. It didn't stay too long and she is back to normal now. I truly believe she recovered so quickly due to the healthful, plant based foods she eats everyday.

Eat your apples,

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vegan Santa Brings Vegan Marshmallows

Snow, I think snow is cold and miserable however the kid loves it. She was dissapointed when we didn't get snow on Christmas but thrilled to see the 3 inches of the yucky stuff we received the next day. We bundled up in several layers and ran out to play, hike and most importantly, have a snowball fight.

Elena with her sled
After she was done with the sled and my snowman turned out goofy, Jason and the sled went inside and Elena started on a hike. It was gorgegous in the woods with the snow covering everything. We were alone and it was super quiet, very peaceful. We watched little birds fly around and watched a creek flow melting snow as it floated along.

Ok, it sucks but it is pretty

As we started to head back, Elena mentioned to me that our Santa was vegan. She doesn't believe anymore but likes to talk as if she does. She described our Vegan Santa at great length. He is good friends with Dr. Will Tuttle and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, he recycles gift wrap and he treats his reindeer with respect. She said that if the reindeer do not want to pull the sled, he doesn't make them. Vegan Santa wouldn't want to eat the processed cookies and cow's milk (ew) that other kids leave out.  She then remembered that our Santa brought Dandie's Vegan Marshmallows and placed them in Elena's stocking. It was about this time that we were cold and so naturally the next thought was to go home and make hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Walking home in a winter wonderland

Elena walked me through the steps to make hot chocolate on our way home. She suggested almond milk, cocoa powder and vegan sugar. I suggested letting a candy cane melt in it and she later thought to sprinkle cinnamon in the pot as well. The result was one of the best mugs of hot chocolate that I have ever tasted.

All dry and ready to enjoy

Delicious cup of vegan hot chocolate

Stay warm and safe out there! I hope Vegan Santa visits you too.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Operation Vegan Gingerbread Man

Elena and I made gingerbread cookies! She could not wait and even shouted "let operation vegan gingerbread man begin" as we were gathering the ingredients. They were super tasty and very cute.

Fuzzy but cute Elena rolling gingerbread dough
She decided to make two gingerfriends and have them hold hands. They were later decorated in matching tank tops. The tank tops look more like bathing suits if you ask me. It was sad when the bond (or dark chocolate chip) that held the friends together broke. However they were consumed quickly afterwards.

Naked gingerfriends

Gingerfriends sporting tank tops and smiles

We decorated most of the cookies but kept a few plain. I will definitely make these again especially to pack in Elena's school lunch. We will not cover the lunch cookies in icing however maybe a dark chocolate chip here and there.

Vegan gingerbread candy canes

More of Elena's gingerbread creations

Merry Christmas!