Tags: 2012, 2013, 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes, apple butter, blogging, engaged, engagement, ideas, new year, new years, recap, tech-free, technology, veganmofo, virginia, wedding, yard sale
Wow. I can’t believe it has been a full year already. 2012 went by so quickly, and many things have happened.
January – March: The weather wasn’t so frightful here, and the warmer winter helped my seasonal depression and running. I went out on the trail a lot. I didn’t get stuck at the bottom of the hill near our apartment. I also tried to give up technology on Sundays. That eventually failed.
April: I tried 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes. It was my 26th birthday.
May: Three years with Batman. We went to Virginia. What a trip.
Summer: I trained and raced a 10-miler. I loved it, most of the time. I decided to run a half marathon next. I also switched jobs in my office, moving to days and finally having weekends and nights off for the first time in five years. Also, I had my first yard sale. My dad almost had a second heart attack.
Fall: The new schedule made working on the farm that much more difficult. Earlier in the summer, I decided to take a break from blogging, but came back for Vegan MoFo. That didn’t go as successfully as I would have hoped. Plus, I burnt apple butter. We moved into a new apartment, and realized it wasn’t the best decision we ever made; it was quite possibly the worst of the year.
Winter: I tried NaNoWriMo and realized that I can’t write on a timeline. I prefer reading on a timeline. My Pop wasn’t doing so well and he went into a nursing home. I got ENGAGED!
YES, Batman is marrying Wonder Woman. Watch out, world.
2012 was quite an eventful year, with a few changes. I am hoping 2013 will be even better, with a wedding to plan (not until 2014, so hold off, people), pounds to lose, races to race, books to read, posts to write and trips to take. Also, I hope to check things off my bucket list.
Happy 2013, everyone!
Tags: Appetite for Reduction, edamame, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, potluck, salad, sushi, sushi roll edamame salad, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
I had shelled all these fresh edamame and not knowing how to cook them, I found a simple recipe in “Appetite for Reduction” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz that seemed to fit my potluck bill: Sushi roll edamame salad.
I had sushi for the very first time back in July, and I must say, I loved it! It was vegan but great.
This salad includes all the sushi tastes, just minus the actual roll. I made the brown rice ahead of time, and when I got home, I did a quick assemble. I had cut the cucumber and carrots the night before.
I did not have nori, so I used some kombu and kelp powder. It probably had less of a sea taste, but that is fine with me.
The miso tamari dressing was good, too.
At the potluck (this is different than the vegan meetup), the guests ate it up! Because we donated our food to one of the attendees, I left home with an empty bowl.
And that is fine with me, as this recipe is simple enough, I know I will always have the ingredients in my pantry.
Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore vegans, Facebook, meet-up, Mr. Chan's, Nittany Pizza, potluck, vegan mofo, veganmofo, vegans, York County, York County Vegans
A while ago, my friend Anna invited me to join a Facebook group for vegans in York County, Pennsylvania. We chat and share information, but that is about it.
I had started going to the Baltimore vegan meet-ups once my schedule changed. It was about an hour drive, and as much as I love the food at Mr. Chan’s, driving was always a pain.
I looked on our group of close to 100 people and thought, “Why exactly aren’t we having vegan meet-ups here?” We have at least two restaurants that have vegan options, and many of us have mad cooking and baking skills. What exactly is wrong with us!?
So, I started the initiative. We met at Nittany Pizza for the first one, and about 15 of us showed up.
Then, a group member, Jeff, volunteered to host October’s potluck. We said what we were bringing, and then on a fall Wednesday evening, we went to Jeff and his wife’s home.
There was about 10 or so of us, which was great for the first one. We had an array of food: Indian, Mexican and fall
delights. LBJ brought his county-famous vegan mac and cheese. Batman, the omni that he is, RAVED about the buffalo chickpea dip and requested the recipe. We chatted, discussed and enjoyed our labor for food.
I think it went well. I really enjoyed meeting up with local people, making connections, and playing with puppies!
I can’t wait for the next one.
Interested in joining our group? Email email@example.com.
Tags: 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes, Arkansas, Arkansas green beans, Earth Balance, fresh, green beans, Lightlife, LightLife Smart Bacon, organic, Smart Bacon, sugar, tamari, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
When I started by 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes challenge, I chose this recipe because it was quick, simple and included green beans.
Since I have more green beans than I know what to do with them, I figured I would do this recipe for a Vegan MoFo challenge.
Traditional Arkansas green beans call for sugar and bacon. Bacon isn’t very vegan-friendly, but there are great alternatives now. This might not be as low in calories because it still uses sugar and the Earth Balance can get fatty, but it is definitely a good alternative. I cut back on the sugar and made it quicker by pan sauteing instead of putting it in the oven. I guess that’s the perks of no meat. I also used fresh beans instead of the canned.
It wasn’t hard for me to put this together, so whip it up as a side dish for dinner!
- A bag full of fresh green beans, probably about three cups if cut in half
- 5 to 6 slices of LightLife Smart bacon, ripped into pieces
- 3 tbsps of white sugar
- 2 tbsps of Earth Balance or other vegan spread
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Pluck the ends off the green beans, and cut in half if you want an easier way to eat them. (I kept them long.)
- Boil the green beans in a little water for about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon in a skillet, and add the crumbled Smart Bacon to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the green beans and add to the skillet with the Smart Bacon. Add the garlic powder, tamari and the other tablespoon of Earth Balance. Saute for a few minutes to let flavors meld.
How do you like to eat green beans?
Tags: breakfast, French toast, Gossip Girl, maple pecan, maple pecan french toast, NaNoWriMo, postaday, The Daily Post, Vegan Bites, vegan mofo, veganism, veganmofo
I seem to be incredibly good at failing at Vegan MoFo! As I have said before, my life is super busy, especially now that I work days. I write and edit for eight hours a day, and I am lucky if I can read or write after that!
I will be participating in NaNoWriMo, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear from me! I plan on finishing out the rest of my Vegan MoFo dishes (about eight or nine posts) and then maybe trying post a day from The Daily Post. I don’t know if I will do this EVERY day, but it will keep my creative juices flowing.
See, I wake up early to run, and then I get ready for work. At work, I write, edit, blog, talk, meet, etc., etc. At 6 p.m., I go home. When I am home, I sometimes go to the gym. Maybe I cook dinner. Usually I am glued to Netflix, this time around watching “Gossip Girl.” Before I know it, it is late and I need to sleep. I catch up on blog posts on Google Reader as I drift into sleep.
Sometimes I need to do chores. Or go to events. Or meet with people. Or travel.
When do I have time to write? Well, I do but I am HORRIBLE at prioritizing.
So, onto the foods!
From Vegan Bites, which is a cookbook for single vegans, there were a few recipes that caught my eye. Since veganism has taken off so much, sometimes the recipes in cookbooks are just … all the same. I know how to make certain dishes, but for newbie vegans, these cookbooks are GREAT.
I saw a simple recipe for French toast, my ALL-TIME favorite food from the past.
I will say that it is hard to make a quick vegan French toast. Usually the batter takes some time to cook, as was the case with the maple pecan French toast. I don’t mind too much, as long as it cooks through.
The ingredients were simple, but low in fat or calories this is NOT. It was 700 calories for the serving size of two slices.
Would I try this again? Sure. I have my Magic Bullet blender, a plate and a frying pan. That’s all you really need for this.
What is your favorite breakfast food? I miss brunch sometimes, because not many local places offer great vegan options.
Tags: alicia simpson, apple cider, bluey-green smoothie, breakfast, celebrate vegan, cucumber cooler, dynise balcavage, protein shake, quick & easy vegan comfort food, smoothie, smoothie recipe, smoothies, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
I love smoothies.
They are so easy to make and you can throw almost anything into them, coming out like perfection. It is like juicing but easier.
Well, maybe I was a LITTLE wrong about throwing everything together for perfection.
My first smoothie that I made was the cucumber cooler from Alicia Simpson’s “Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food.” It includes a cucumber, cantaloupe, dates and apple juice. I subbed apple juice for apple cider and I thought I was good to go. WRONG. I forgot to check the dates for pits. My last batch of dates had no pits in them, so I just assumed this for these dates (and I was in a hurry.)
When I took a sip, it tasted like pepper. I couldn’t drink it! I was so upset and never got a chance to make another one.
I moved onto Simpson’s bluey-green smoothie. She said it was more purple, and that she was right. I remember blueberries, some lettuce leaves and possibly a banana. I think maybe some soy milk was added, too.
It was yummy! I love blueberries so anything with that in it is OK by me!
Do you have an awesome smoothie recipe? Please share!
My favorite smoothie is from “Celebrate Vegan” by Dynise Balcavage. I taste-tested for her book and fell in love with the post-race protein shake. Bananas, peanut butter and chocolate? YES!
Tags: apple, apple pear butter, butter, fail, pear, Pinterest, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
When I decided to do Vegan MoFo 2012, I looked all over Pinterest for some recipe ideas. It’s not like I am in need of recipes — I have more than 20 cookbooks, an inbox full of emails, bookmarks on my computer and now Pinterest.
I still compiled a list and tried to hack away at it. I really enjoyed the idea of making apple-pear butter. We had just finished off our peanut butter (except the spicy one that Batman is hoarding away for a rainy day) and I figured this easy, peasy recipe would go great with my strawberry jam I made in June. Organic, local and made in my kitchen to last through the winter? YES, PLEASE!
Tags: alicia simpson, egg mcguffin, Lightlife, Magic Bullet, McDonalds, quick and easy vegan comfort food, Smart Bacon, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
Breakfast sandwiches always stare at me when I get up early enough to eat breakfast and happen into a Sheetz or other fast food place, like McDonald’s. The fact they come from a fast-food place doesn’t make them healthy, but I am hungry for one nonetheless.
It has been a long time since I had a breakfast sandwich.
And then I stumbled upon the egg mcguffin recipe in Alicia Simpson’s “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food,” and all I could do is think “YESSSS!”
I was super excited to make these, but there was going to be one modification: the vegan meat. I needed Lightlife Smart Bacon for another recipe, and vegan breakfast sausage patties are hard to come by (though I did find new ones by Gardein in Baltimore Saturday night.)
Flaky, toasted bread? Check. Faux meat and cheese? Check. Then came the tofu “egg,” which surprisingly held up well and tasted similar to eggs (without the cruelty), even if it gunked up my Magic Bullet blender.
It was great and kept me full to lunch, which is a rarity these days. It can be quite high in calories, especially for something I am not used to eating in the morning (I ate two. They were just too yummy.) But it great after a run or gym time before work.
I recommend making the tofu “egg” patty the night before, because it is a pain when you are rushing in the first place. Also, melt the cheese with your toaster oven on the bread if you have one.
I can’t wait to make more. I highly recommend these for the busy person who needs a dish with a good amount of protein in the morning.
Tags: alicia simpson, black bean, creamy black bean soup, quick and easy vegan comfort food, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
I am moving on to creamy black bean soup. I used the exact recipe from “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia Simpson.
It had a few, simple ingredients and maybe 20 minutes, tops. AMAZINGLY, it was creamy and hardy, minus soy milk or any type of fatty, vegan creamer.
It was a perfect dish for busy me, who wants a hearty cup of soup at the end of a long day during the fall.
Unfortunately, no photos! I guess it was just too yummy. I do have photos for other recipes from Simpson’s book; posts to come soon.
Tags: biryani, chickpea, chickpea biryani, easy veggie chickpea biryani, The Vegan Slow Cooker, vegan, vegan mofo, veganmofo
I love my crock pot. I also love chickpeas. And the other night for dinner, I combined both of them for some awesome food.
I threw in some cauliflower, sweet potatoes,onion, some bell peppers, the chickpeas, garam masala, cinnamon and some spices. I had to put coriander instead of cumin, and I used my vegan beef bouillon instead of chicken.
Eight lovely hours later and a small pot of brown rice, I had dinner, lunch and a few more meals later.
I love Indian food, mostly because it contains chickpeas and can be poured over rice. *yay carbs!* And I now have a whole pot of it to myself.