Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vegan Kid Quest

Elena has never complained about her lack of vegan friends. She has expressed frustration around how her friends and classmates don't think about what they eat. She has tried to discuss food with other kids and is always disappointed. She has conversations about food, animals and the Earth with us often. I am saddened that she given up having these conversations with her peers.

My new goal is find vegan kids for a vegan playdate. I am not sure how to go about this however it makes sense to start on Facebook. It is amazing what you can find out when you ask all of your "friends". We have been invited to a Vegan Potluck at World Peace Yoga in Cincinnati however we have yet to check it out. Perhaps we can find kids there. I will do a little research and see what else I can find. Hopefully, my next post will let you know when the lil vegans are getting together to play, eat and chat.

My Little Vegan

I will take any suggestions!

To the Lil Vegans,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Avocado Cupcakes and Sushi!

A Vegan Apology
My best friend Sheri (the one who inspired Elena to consider learning more about being a vegan) made avocado cupcakes with avocado butter cream icing for my birthday a few weeks ago. They were light and delicious. The Thierbach family ate them, quickly. Unfortunately, the only picture taken of the was too blurry to post. I hope Sheri knows how much we loved them even though they were not highlighted out here.

Sheri's girlfriend, Jen made sushi and gave me two veggie rolls. Same thing...they were slighted out here due to the lack of a picture. However you can see the sushi on Sheri's blog, Rainbows of Vegan Love. I thought when I first became vegan that sushi was out forever because I certainly don't know how to make it and I wasn't going to a sushi restaurant for just veggie rolls. Jen's rolls were super fantastic and proved to me that you don't have to give up anything if you are vegan.

Here are Sheri and Jen...

Sorry to leave out the awesome vegan treats you gave me!
Love you both,

A Belated Vegan Birthday Dinner

My crazy, sassy, non vegan friend Robyn made me a vegan feast last night as a belated birthday present. Robyn makes excellent Indian food which she typically prepares with butter and chicken. She used oil instead of butter and opted for potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Along with the curry vegetables and rice, we enjoyed hummus, fresh vegetables, fruit, salsa, etc. It was delicious!

Hummus, veggies and salsa

Curry potatoes, onions, mushrooms over rice

She bought almond milk ice cream bites as well. It is very touching to have meat eaters make a vegan meal for us. Thanks Robyn! Elena loved the meal and Robyn's daughter Amerie' didn't seem to miss anything by the lack of butter and meat.

Elena and Amerie'

Loving Hut Lunch
Last week, Elena and I went to The Loving Hut for lunch before going to Kings Island. Elena had her usual, veggie nuggets and veggie straws. I had a raw pizza and a salad with local greens. Wow. Their house dressing is a ginger almond dressing and it is fantastic.

My raw pizza and salad!
My lil vegan with her veggiesaurus and root beer

Have a wonderful Sunday!
Vegan Forever,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Thierbach Vegan Father's Day

Happy late Father's Day to all the dads out there! I hope you had a happy, healthy day.

Thankfully, both my father and Jason's father have been respectful and curious towards our veganism. They have both asked thoughtful questions and listened to our answers. On Father's Day, we cooked a vegan meal for Jason's father and family.  This was the first all vegan meal we were making for our family so it had to be good. We decided to make burritos and serve them with corn,  rice, and chips with salsa. Jason cooked peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, vegetable broth and spices to make the base for the burritos.

Onions, peppers, sweet potatoes

Burrito with veggie blend above, black beans and lettuce

The Non Vegan Thierbachs loved the burritos! We had a great time on Sunday and hopefully proved that we are not depriving ourselves and that our food is really tasty.

Cheers to a Thierbach Vegan Father's Day!
Elena before dinner

A Vegan Staycation
Elena and I are on vacation this week. She is taking classes at the local university in the mornings and we are having fun in the afternoons. Today I told her she could pick anywhere to eat lunch, she decided on the Loving Hut. I am looking forward to it.

Eat more veggies,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Yummy Non Dairy Cheese!

I  just wanted to pass along a cheese that Elena and I found at Whole Foods this past weekend. It is a Daiya cheese which we have tried before however this was a new variety for us. We tried the Cheddar Style Wedge. It was very similiar to cheddar cheese. I am not a cheese freak anymore however I do appreciate a little cheese on my pizza occasionally.

Yummy cheese
We tried the cheddar wedge on a pizza. We didn't have pizza dough so we used corn tortillas doubled up. She put sauce on the tortillas and then topped them with kale, onion, tofu and the wedges. They were almost too pretty to eat.

Elena's pizza masterpiece

Tofu rocks,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Birthday Follow Up

Jason's French Toast
I have never, ever liked french toast. The thought of soggy bread sprinkled with sugar made me sick. However Jason grew up enjoying french toast so he decided to make a vegan version. He made his version a few weeks ago and reluctantly, I tried it. He bought a thick, seedy bread and dipped it in a bath of coconut milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. He lightly browned the bread in a pan with a little olive oil and topped with bananas and walnuts. Um yum. Needless to say, I like this french toast so much that he made some for me on Sunday.  Thanks cutie.

We enjoyed lunch at Pho Lang Thang where we could order vegan with no hassle. We each had a small bowl of rice noodles with a topping; Jason and I went with tofu and Elena picked mushrooms. Elena took a few bites, looked out the window and stated "this is the life". I think she had a good day.

Elena's mushroom noodles

Our additional toppings to share

Silly Plant Photos
I took a few silly photos and thought I would post them. Enjoy. They may make more sense after a few adult vegan beverages. Maybe not.

Onions with cucumber

Onions with peach

Peach, lemon and cucumber 

Have a healthful evening,
Christy Thierbach (Thierbach wasn't in the post so I had to throw it in at the end)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Quick Birthday Update

It's a Vegan Birthday!
Jason made a chocolate vegan cake with chocolate vegan icing for my food day at work. He also made a few cupcakes for us to enjoy at home. The cake and cupcakes were awesome. Several people tried the cake not knowing it was vegan and enjoyed it.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes!

Whoo Got a Vegan Wallet? I did!
Elena gave me a vegan wallet with an adorable owl on it. How sweet. I believe it came from Alternative Outfitters.

I am  off to hit Findlay Market and Park + Vine for Clark and Minnie's Ice Cream Social. Have a healthful day!!
Christy (41 years young)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Milk, Cheese and Chocolate Birthday Cake

The Busiest June Ever
Hi there! This June is one of the busiest months for The Thierbachs. It started crazy on June 2nd with the Warrior Dash in Logan Ohio. This was my second Warrior Dash and it was awesome. Elena went with us and although we packed snacks, she wanted to see what treats we could purchase. My awesome lil vegan opted for a cob of corn for her snack. I called her my Veggie Warrior.

June still holds Jason's summer classes, Elena's advanced classes, my first yoga teacher training weekend and more. It is imperative we plan snacks and meals ahead of time during busy times. I see lots of roasted veggies in my future. It is so easy to cut up  veggies, toss in olive oil, dill, sesame seeds, whatever sounds good and bake on 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. We never have a pan with the same seasoning or veggies twice. I use a huge cookie sheet so I can save the leftovers for quick meals.

Cheese: A Deal Breaker?
As a non vegan, I felt that I could never be vegan because of cheese. As a vegan, I hear others say they could be vegan except for the whole cheese thing.  Cheese is obviously a deal breaker for many people.  Cheese is creamy, gooey, and tastes great.  It is impossible to talk about cheese, yogurt or ice cream without milk. We are mammals who have mammary glands that are designed to make milk for our babies. Once our babies are old enough to eat food, we wean them from milk, well from our milk.

I never questioned drinking cow's milk until I became a mother, a lactating breastfeeding mom. I read several books on pregnancy and will always remember reading a chapter about breast milk. I read about a connection that science cannot explain between a mother's body and her baby's body that changes the chemical make up of breast milk depending on the needs of the baby at each feeding. How amazing and special. I breast fed for two and a half years being proud to be able to feed my baby with my body. I faced criticism for breastfeeding so long (ridiculous) with stupid comments like "I hope you are not going to be doing that when she is in kindergarten".   My pediatrician encouraged me to stop at one year so we got a new pediatrician. I find it odd that we have such an unhealthy view of breastfeeding human babies with human milk however have no problem consuming another species' milk in adulthood.

During this incredibly special time with my baby, I thought about other mammals. Other mammal mommies are meant to do the exact same thing with their bodies, feed their babies. Hmm, what about this whole cow's milk thing? It didn't make sense. I made the logical leap and thought...I bet cow's milk is actually best for calves. I bet it isn't intended for humans at all. It started to creep me out, literally creep me out. I looked for milk alternatives and didn't like any of them. Luckily, now I have found Almond Breeze Coconut Almond Blend. I still had cow's milk in coffee and cereal for a few years being creeped out along the way. I told myself organic milk was better, knowing it was still designed for calves. Jason has been cool with soy or almond milk for years now. Elena has had very little cow's milk in her life and is perfectly happy with any substitute.

I was worried about my family and what this other species' milk would do to us. I was totally forgetting about what this was doing to the cow mommies and babies. Certainly a cow mommy would be in anguish to have her calf taken away. How scary for a baby calf to be taken from his or her mother, however I have since learned that this is only the beginning of the nightmare the calves will go through. A mom cow will be artifically inseminated to be pregnant as much as possible, a male calf will most likely be killed and a female calf will have her reproductive system violated and manipulated as soon as possible. What the hell are we doing?  If you would like to read more, I recommend The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle or any relevant Food For Thought Podcast.

So now cheese, oh yeah that yummy stuff made typically  from .. um cow's milk. Ewk. I do miss blue cheese crumbles or brie from time to time but then I remember the manipulation of a female reproduction system (which is highly offensive to me being a female), the unnecessary pain and cruelty involved and the fact that I am not a calf. Cheese craving squashed, most of the time.

There are cheese substitutes that are pretty good; Daiya shredded cheese and Galaxy Vegan Parmesan. However there are other alternatives too that will add a creamy, cheesy flavor to things like pine nuts or nutritional yeast. This recent blog post on lets us know they are trying to make alternative cheeses yummier.

My Vegan Birthday Cake

On a much lighter note, my birthday is coming up. My team at work is celebrating this Friday with a food day. I requested a Mexican theme. I thought it would be easy to eat vegan with beans, rice, salsa. etc. I found out today that they have been looking at vegan recipes to make a cake however feel intimidated by the lack of eggs. I offered to make the cake. Elena and I will be baking our first vegan cake tomorrow night. I will be consulting my copy of The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau tonight to decide what to make. It will be the first taste of vegan baking for most so it has to be good! There has been talk of a vegan challenge at work as well.

Have a healthful rest of your week!