Saturday, July 28, 2012

Vegan tweets and a few pictures

Twitter may be old news for most people however I am just becoming familiar with The Twitter. Not that you want to but you can find me on Twitter as CThierbach. However I debating changing it to thierbachvegan. Don't expect much for a while. I just found out what a hashtag is all about. I still don't know much about blogging!

Also here are a few pictures that I left out previously...

Green tea pistachio cupcakes for Jason's birthday

Bok choy, peppers, onions and potatos

Jaben and Sheldon Thierbach who are NOT vegan

Off to a girly wine party, send me a tweet!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Vegan Pistachio Birthday

Green Tea and Pistachio Cupcakes!
 Jason's birthday was last week and he wanted Green Tea and Pistachio cupcakes from one of our favorite books. The recipe is in Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I regrettably do not have a picture of these incredible cupcakes. They were beautiful  and delicious. They were gone, all 12 in maybe 2 days. I actually changed the recipe a tiny bit. Elena and I were disappointed to learn (after crushing tons of pistachios) that the nuts only went on top of the cupcakes. We decided to add some to the batter. I used a quarter cup less flour and added pistachios.

Green Tea and Pistachio Cupcakes from Colleen but modified slightly ...

  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp powdered green tea
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (we used a coconut almond blend)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Green Tea Frosting
  • ½ cup Earth Balance
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp powdered green tea
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup ground pistachio nuts, for topping 
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine flour, sugar, green tea powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the and pour in milk, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir all ingredients.
Divide batter among the 12 prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.

With an electric hand mixer or using a fork, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar, green tea powder,  a little milk, vanilla extract and almond extract. Beat for a few minutes adding more milk, if needed. Cover frosting with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour, up to 2 weeks. When ready to use, frost each cupcake and top with ground pistachios.

We did save a little ground pistachio and used it in a cookie and another cake that we made. The cookies were one of the best cookies that I have ever tasted.  I searched online and found the recipe on Vegetarian  So darn yummy. I highly recommend trying this recipe. We sprinkled pistachio on top but made the batter per the recipe.

Chocolately cookie topped with pistachio

I invited my dad and Jason's brother over to celebrate on Sunday so I needed a cake. The cupcakes were gone and guests expect cake at a birthday dinner. We used this white cake recipe from My Vegan Cookbook Blog and added pistachios! We had a little left so why not? We used the same icing from the cupcakes but thinned it out a little so it was more like a glaze. The result is below. Jason is not a little girl nor a ballerina. Elena used her candles for his cake.

Masculine Pistachio Vegan Cake

Have a pistachio evening!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Kale Hummus Sandwich and a List of Resources

Hi there! What a wonderful Saturday. It was beautiful outside. Elena and I cooked all afternoon and now we are winding down. We all starting watching Planeat on Thursday but Elena had to go to bed before it was over. I think we will watch the last part tonight so she can see it. This movie is similar to Forks Over Knives however Planeat highlights the environmental impact of food where FOK highlights the health impact of food. They blend a bit and actually speak to a few of the same doctors about their research. I highly suggest both! Everyone should watch these films and a few others I will come back to later.

A Kale Hummus Sandwich?

In Planeat, Dr. Esselstyn's wife is so excited while making lunch. She walks through step by step as she makes kale hummus sandwiches and they looked delicious. Jason and I decided we would try to make them this weekend. She used super thin bread which she toasted. She added a thick layer of  homemade hummus and then topped the sandwich with kale that had been sauteing in lemon juice. Our sandwich was on the same thin toasted bread and also had a thick layer of homemade hummus. I added green onions and mushrooms to the lemony kale and we also made sweet potato fries. It was a success!

Our version of the Kale Hummus Sandwich!

Sweet Potato Close Up

I have had a few requests to list a few of the books and movies that the Thierbachs have used on this journey. I was planning on revisiting them all before listing and I am not sure that is necessary. Here are just a few with a brief description and link.


Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger
The first on my list was the first book that really made me question what I was eating. This books goes through all those mysterious ingredients on the packages of processed foods. Very interesting and scary.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal  by Eric Schlosser
I used to LOVE fast food. I didn't want to read this but I wanted to know what I didn't know. This was my first exposure to factory farming and the meat industry.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
I  read all of Michael Pollan's books however this is my favorite. The main theme of the book is actually on the cover "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants".  Michael Pollan is not a vegetarian however is suggesting this diet. Excellent.


Earthling directed and written by Shaun Monson
This movie explores the different ways in which humans use animals. It is a bit brutal to watch and is NOT appropriate for kids. I believe in telling my child the truth but this is too much truth for a younger child. The film goes into food (obviously) but also scientific research, pets, animal testing, etc. Yes, it is painful to watch however the animals are living it. Suck it up and learn what is going on.

Forks Over Knives written and directed by Lee Fulkerson
Show this movie to the people you care about. This movie shows compelling scientific evidence that eating a plant based diet has significant positive influence on your health.  The movie highlights two studies in particular that show a correlation between cancer and higher meat intake using incredible amounts of data from China and that show eating a plant based diet after heart attacks, obesity ,etc can reverse the damage respectively.

There are so many more to mention. I will save a few for next time. If you have read/watched these, what did you think? Would you recommend them or are they liberal hippy crap? Have they made you think? Changed your view?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vegan Sushi Sunday

I loved sushi! Prior to vegan life, I enjoyed sushi often. Fish was actually one of  the last things I decided to stop eating. I am sure glad I did after reading the chapter Hunting and Herding Sea Life in  The Peace Diet by Will Tuttle. He explains how toxins concentrate in the tissues of animals. Fish are basically soaking up all the crap that we are allowing to run into the water. It is concentrating in their meat and we eat them believing fish to be an ultra healthy food. Not to mention the destruction  when large fishing ships pull up (and by pull up I mean destroy) everything on the ocean floor so we may have shrimp. As much I enjoyed the taste of salmon, shrimp and tuna, I can't fathom eating meat concentrated with runoff fertilizers, medicines, oil spills, etc. I feel guilty knowing the destruction caused to marine plants and animals, just so I may eat some tuna. It just doesn't make sense. Luckily, sushi is something that I can still enjoy and it is just as delicious vegan.

Sushi seemed so mysterious. I never  thought I could make it on my own. One day Sheri of Rainbows of Vegan Love mentioned making sushi for her blog. I decided to ask her to show me how. As you can see from her sushi blog post, Jen from Vegan or Not was becoming a sushi master. Last Sunday, Elena, Sheri, Jen and I all made and snacked on sushi rolls! We decided that going forward every 4 to 5 weeks, we would have Vegan Sushi Sunday! Next time, I am bringing all the fixins as Jen supplied them for me. I super duper appreciate it. We ate the rest of the rolls for several days.

Jen cut up the veggies in long strips. We had carrots, celery (with no seeds), avocado and cream cheese which is not a veggie. She made the rice as well. All we had to do was learn to roll. It wasn't as difficult as I expected and now I can't wait until our next Vegan Sushi Sunday. Also if anyone wants to come over and roll, let's do it. Elena was a natural and was super proud.

I am off to try another one of Colleen's recipe from The Vegan Table. We are making Zuccini Cakes!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Thierbach Contest with a Vegan Prize

Happy Thursday!

Jason and I had noticed that we are losing weight with our vegan lifestyle however we both have a problem area. I don't care for the extra gunk on my arms and Jason would like to see his stomach become smaller. We agreed that a healthy competition could provide more incentive. He measured my upper arm and I measured his waist and the results are on paper. The winner will have the biggest percentage of loss at the end of the contest. The loser will purchase, prepare, and clean up a vegan meal and dessert of the winner's choice. I am so going to win this!

Maybe Jason can make stew in a pumpkin...

or maybe spanakopita? I have time to decide.

Did You Know?
Cows used to get their calcium from grass however most cows don't eat grass anymore. Milk has to be fortified to have calcium these days because cows eat primarily corn. Most people think cows have a natural abundance of calcium and that we NEED milk to get our calcium. I prefer to skip the cows and go straight the source, leafy greens. Chard, kale, soy milk (also fortified but with no harm to cows!), tofu and beans are good calcium sources.

Wish your favorite Thierbach luck!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Zucchini Bread and a New Thierbach!

Before the introduction of the new Thierbach (who is actually not a vegan) and the zucchini bread, I wanted to provide a update on Mission: Vegan Kid Quest. We went to a Vegan or Not 4th of July party and Elena met other veggie and veg curious kids. We enjoyed tons of yummy vegan food including chili dogs, dill dip in cucumber boats and lots of fresh from the garden veggies. Lastly, we enjoyed a very patriotic vegan flag cake baked with love by Sheri Fuqua of Rainbows of Vegan Love. 
Elena and I are going back to Jen's house this Sunday to learn how to make vegan sushi rolls! I will definitely post pictures of our rolls after we give it a try.

Jen gave us 2 huge zucchinis so we had to make zucchini bread.  We made two loaves and are enjoying a few slices tonight right out of the oven with a little Earth Balance.

Dill dip in cucumber boats made by Jen Scheben
Zucchini bread with a little Earth Balance
Elena making zucchini bread

Here's Sheldon Cooper Thierbach!
We heard about two pregnant mother cats that were abandoned and decided to take a kitten into our home. Between the two moms, there were many kittens to choose from however the Thierbach household was drawn to a kitten named Sheldon. We are fans of The Sheldon Cooper so we decided to keep his name. He is approximately 6 weeks old and had an issue with some worms and fleas. He seems to feel much better and is wreaking havoc on our condo but in the most adorable way. We do not plan to raise Sheldon as a vegan however I will do a little research to see what cat foods are healthier out there.

Elena and Sheldon

Sheldon taking a nap

I am working on the next post currently which is by request. I am going to list and provide a summary of the movies, books, etc. that have influenced us most during our journey thus far. There have been many and it has been several years since I have revisited a few so I am going back and watching a few scenes, reading a few chapters and listening to my favorite podcasts in preparation.