Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Camping and Beet Cake

So, camping this weekend turned out to be less than fun. The wedding itself was lovely, but the weather was terrible. It rained the whole time, and we were freezing in our little tent. The boys and Keith slept fine, but I was damn cold! We also forgot our pillows, which made the night even less pleasant. Damn Alberta and its random temperatures!
Here's a picture of our "breakfast in bed":
Okay, so let's just ignore the fact that I look like I'm about 12 years old in this picture. We decided to try some hemp milk (a special treat the husband picked up for me), and brought along a little carton of Hemp Bliss. While it isn't fortified, it does contain much more fat than regular soymilk (So Nice Original, to be specific), but the amount of saturated fat in the hemp milk is lower. Anyways, we decided that we will buy it again and give it to Quinn on a semi-regular basis, since it's full of healthy fats, and we don't want him to drink soy exclusively. I'm not overly concerned about too much soy intake, but I don't think that anyone should consume too much of anything, so replacing one glass of "milk" a day with hemp milk seems like a good idea. Healthy fats are so important to young children, so hemp seems like an ideal choice. Quinn didn't like the taste at first, but he ate it in his cereal, and didn't mind. He had a glass again tonight, so maybe he's developing a taste for it. Heck, he's a toddler! His palate changes every 5 minutes!
There wasn't a lot of food for us to eat at the wedding, which we were expecting, so it's a good thing we had filled up on the Angelic Tofu sandwiches beforehand!
My husband's been working very late hours this week, so it's been a busy week. On Monday it was just the boys and I for dinner, and I made the Bean and Nut loaf from the Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, and some basmati rice mixed with nutritional yeast, corn, and peas. I was going to make a big salad, but Quinn wouldn't have eaten much of it, and I was feeling a little lazy and didn't want to go to all that work to make a salad for one. I had a huge salad for lunch that day, so I didn't feel too guilty about missing my dinner greens. ;)
I wasn't able to snap any pictures from Monday's dinner. Same story for Tuesday. On Tuesday my mom and sister came over for a little to hang out with me and the boys. I made the Hummus-Quinoa casserole from Vive Le Vegan, which is a favorite around here, and a biggie salad. Yum!
We got a new batch of veggies from the csa yesterday. Potatoes, carrots, leeks, lettuce... and lots more! Mmm. Last year was the first time I'd ever cooked with leeks (we got so many from the csa, I was overwhelmed!), and the potato-leek soups from La Dolce Vegan became favorites. Once the weather cools down again (which will likely be in about five minutes), I'll definitely be making some soup!
We had dinner at my dad's tonight. To accompany the veggie dogs he made, I made the Dijon Potato Salad, from the Garden of Vegan, using farm-fresh potatoes, carrots and celery. This salad always gets rave reviews.
I didn't really use proper potatoes, since these ones kind of disintegrated after being cooked, but I didn't mind. They almost give the salad a creamy texture, effectively standing in for the mayonnaise that is usually the star of potato salads.
We got a ton of beets from the csa, so I decided to make a little beet cake to bring to my dad's tonight as well.
I used the recipe in The Vegan Sourcebook for Red Devil Cake, but modified it a bit, using spelt flour instead of whole wheat, and adding chocolate chips and dried cranberries. It was really moist and delicious. After adding the chocolate chips, I didn't bother making an icing. I thought it was plenty pretty enough as it was!'s been a long week! I can't believe it's only Wednesday. Thanks goodness for the long weekend! I'm planning on making a huge grocery trip on Friday, and cooking up lots of beautiful food this weekend. And maybe even catching up on some much-needed sleep..... ;)
Enjoy the rest of the week!

Friday, August 24, 2007

So many colours in the Rainbow...

Anyone else a Harry Chapin fan? :)
Phew, so it's been a busy week. We've started doing some kitchen renos, but I have managed to get some cooking done.
Here's last night's dinner. (Note the cardboard box that was serving as my prep station.)

My husband made this chana masala over quinoa, and, inspired by our abundance of zucchini, I threw together a modified version of the Zucchini-Avocado Salsa from The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook. The recipe called for avocado (hence the name...) and cilantro, but I didn't have either, so I used tomatoes and parsley. It was filled with beautiful veggies, and was really lovely.
This weekend we are attending a wedding at a campground, and we will be camping overnight, so I spent a good part of today preparing for that.
This morning I made the Simple Crunchy Granola from La Dolce Vegan. I modified the recipe a little, using only 1/4 cup of maple syrup (instead of 3/4), and adding hemp seeds.
I sampled some with some soy yogurt this morning, and it was really delicious.
And to accompany it on our mini-getaway, I sliced up some grapes and strawberries, and they were just too pretty not to snap a shot.
Since it is quite probable that there will be no vegan desserts at the wedding tomorrow, I made some. Is it in bad taste to bring your own dessert to a wedding? I'm not sure. I've never met the bride or groom (my husband's cousin who has never lived close by), so I'm quite sure that they have no idea of our diet. I figure that we'll sneak back to our campsite and gorge on what I made: a veganized version of the Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from the ReBar cookbook. Another one of the guests (another cousin-in-law, with whom we are very close) is quite nearly vegan, mainly due to her daughters' allergies. Her youngest little nursling has a few sensitivities, one of which is soy. Unwilling to give up the chocolate chips the recipe calls for (selfish me! the chocolate chips I have contain soy.), I divided the batter in half, adding chocolate chips to one half and baking that in an 8x8" pan, and adding dried cranberries and coconut to the other half and baking those in a muffin tin. They both look amazing, and to be honest, my husband and I each sampled one of the cranberry-laden cupcakes, and they were fantastic.
I didn't get a picture of the chocolate chip "squares", but I will try to get one before they are all gobbled up tomorrow. (Aside from my husband's cousin, my mother-in-law is also making the switch to veganism after being vegetarian for over 15 years! Needless to say, I'm sure that we won't return home with a full tray of sweets!)
For lunch, I made a batch of the Angelic Tofu Sandwich Filling from Becoming Vegetarian, which is tasty, but not so photo-worthy. But what is, are these completely beautiful vegetables that I chopped/ shredded to accompany the tofu in some wraps.
All lovely, organic, beets, green peppers, and carrots. Yum! We have oodles of beets coming in from our wonderful csa, and I'm just itching to use them!
And lastly, just because I'm so thrilled I can hardly stand it, here is the absolutely gorgeous new countertop that we ordered today.
Okay, so it's a little hard to see, but it is so amazing.
I'll be sure to do a post-camping post, and report on some of the store-bought goodies we are taking along.
Happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

From the Garden

We just started renovating our kitchen, so it has been in complete disarray for the past few days. As a result, there hasn't been much cooking going on.
Since I can't really do any cooking, here's some garden talk. I picked this gigantic zucchini a couple of days ago.
Since zucchinis tend to be slightly bitter when they get this big, I plan on using it to make a ridiculous amount of muffins (for the new moms in my life) and cupcakes (we are going to a wedding this weekend, and the chances that there will be a vegan dessert are slim). Mmm.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wild On: Soup! and other tasty treats...

Here's a dinner from last week that we thoroughly enjoyed. A soup made up of wild rice, wild mushrooms, carrots, and various other yummy tidbits. Truth be told, I'm not a huge mushroom fan, but the soup was lovely and comforting nonetheless.
To accompany our soup (it had been a particularly rainy and chilly week), I made a loaf of Sarah's Sandwich Spelt Bread from La Dolce Vegan.
A friend of mine gave birth to her second baby boy this week (go Audrey!!!), so I whipped up a batch of Diane's Stork Muffins from Vive for her. Ye gads, I am obsessed with these muffins. Seriously. I always throw in some chocolate chips, because I have a small chocolate 'problem', and I'm pretty sure I could eat these every day. Sweet sweet muffins. She enjoyed them as much as I do....if that's even possible.
We got a big 20lb box of organic peaches from BC this week (that we split with some friends). They have about 5 minutes left of being ripe, so if anyone has any peach recipe suggestions, let me know! (Although, really, eating them on their own is plenty delicious enough...)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sunflower-Lentil Pie

For our first blog-dinner, Quinn and I made one of my favorites, the Sunflower-Lentil Pie from Dreena Burton's Vive Le Vegan. Mmmm. I love this dinner!
Here's my, ahem, first helping. :) The pie was pureed a little more that I would normally like, but my little helper kept turning the food processor on as soon as my back was turned!

To accompany the sunflower-lentil tastiness, I mashed some potatoes and dill (both from the wonderful CSA we belong to), with some vegan cream cheese, and made a tasty salad with some veggies from our garden. We topped the salad with this dressing, which I am completely in love with. Unfortunately, it's a little pricey, and the bottle we have has only lasted a week. :(
My beautiful garden cucumber:
Food processor glee:
And my second helping (hey! I'm a nursing mother! I need the extra calories...):

The beginning...

My family and I have been vegan since my oldest son, now two years old, started eating solids, roughly a year and a half ago. I have created this blog in an attempt to answer some of the many questions I am frequently asked about our diet, as well as inspire people to think outside the standard food "box"
I hope to show our Vegan Family Dinners for what they are: healthy, easy, and delicious!