Well, not really, but it makes everything a little bit better. I woke up this morning with the awful cold the girls have had for the last week. I was so hoping that I would be spared, but no, I wasn’t. After feeling pretty run down and rainy weather, I thought I’d cheer us all up by making chocolate cookies. I used Isa’s recipe found here. I subbed whole wheat flour and used 1/2 cup splenda, 1/2 cup sugar to make them a bit healthier. They still taste like they are going straight to my thighs. Here’s some of the cuteness from today’s adventure in the kitchen.

Vegan cookies mean we get to lick the bowl!

Vegan cookies mean we get to lick the bowl!

Are you sure this is the same stuff that was in the bowl?

Are you sure this is the same stuff that was in the bowl?

Hey, you know what?

Hey, you know what?




this is the week

September 29, 2008

Veganmofo begins this week. I’m excited and I have to say after some thought, friendly advice and blog surfing, I’ve come up with a plan for the month.

Week 1: Vegan Comfort – a combination of old favorites that I’ll veganize and new recipes from favorite vegan cookbooks to help me sway my skeptical omni husband to the veg side!
Week 2: Vegan Lite – healthy vegan fare and low carb options, because if I keep baking and cooking like I am now, I’m going to be one fat vegan!
Week 3: The Lazy Vegan – easy and good vegan meals that can be made without alot of time, because let’s face it, with two small children, I don’t always have time for grand vegan meals.
Week 4: Vegan Holiday – since the holidays are fast approaching and this will be my first holiday season as a vegan, I need to experiment with good omni friendly dishes.

And so it begins! I’m going to begin each week with a pantry check and a list of things I’ll be using for the week. I’m sure I’ll have to edit that list a few times, but I’ll do my best to keep it updated with the ingredients I’m using. I’m also going to try and note how long it takes to prepare each meal so that you know what you’re getting into before you start. I can’t wait to see what everyone else is doing this month.

for the love of seitan

September 28, 2008

A friend of mine sent me a new recipe and since I’m all about the seitan these days I wanted to try it out. It’s a different cooking method than the previous one I posted. The texture came out wonderful, tender and meaty. It’s very tomatoey, is that even a word? I will definitely make this again only I’ll use less tomato paste and I think I’ll play around with the seasoning. I doubled the recipe so that I would have some to freeze. One can never have enough seitan!

1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper (I use 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (you can use 1/8 tsp if you like it less spicy)
1/8 tsp allspice

3/4 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp Bragg’s
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for a minute or two.. it doesn’t need long.

Form into a log (7-8″ longish), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for about 80 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

Nutritional Info
One entire log has:
1134 calories
32g fat
63g carbs
158g protein

This is what my husband asks me last night after we were talking about what is currently known as “The Great Purge”. I was rambling about being grossed out by lanolin, something most breastfeeding mothers have on hand and my husband just shook his head.

me – “What?”
my husband – “Ignorance is bliss. Now don’t you wish you’d taken the blue pill?”
me – “No I don’t, that blue pill is probably coated in gelatin.”
He laughed and said – “I think I just realized that you are serious about all this. I’m not saying that I want to do this, but I kind of admire that you are.”

someone please stop me…

September 27, 2008

before I eat this whole cake. I was experimenting during vegan cooking hour and I came up with this pumpkin cream cheese coffee cake. It is sooo good. If you make this, beware. It will call to you.

8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick of Earths Balance softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick Earths Balance softened
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy/rice/almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
For Filling: In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Set aside.
Topping: In a small bowl blend together Earths Balance, sugar, flour, spice and salt. Set aside.
Batter: In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together EB and sugar. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and in batches slowly beat into wet mixture alternately with milk.
Assemble: Spread half of the batter in bottom of baking dish. Add a smaller layer of filling on the top leaving an inch or two of space around the edge.
Drop spoonfuls of remaining batter on filling and spread evenly (be careful not to mix layers).
Sprinkle or drizzle topping evenly over batter (I was playing with the recipe and the topping was pretty soft by the time I started to assemble the cake. I ended up drizzling it over the top with a teaspoon. Bake coffeecake in middle of oven for about 45 minutes, until golden and a tester comes out clean. My oven runs about 50 deg. too hot, so you’re baking time may vary from mine.

an on going process…

September 26, 2008

I was not expecting the level of disgust I would feel with my new awareness. I think I was a bit idealistic in my new found veganess. I’m still in the process of ridding my house of animal products and I’m constantly finding stuff. I think we are going to have the “Heather is going vegan garage sale” haha. It’s not so much the leather and shoes that gross me out, all though the horrible way it’s made is much more than gross. It’s the beauty products and tooth paste and lotion and the list goes on. I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I realized that I’ve basically been smearing animal fats on my body in various forms. And the gelatin thing leaves me very queasy. It’s in everything and I had no idea how it was really made. I will never look at jello the same again.

VegFamily has the list that I have been using. It’s been an eye opening resource. Jason Naturals and Tom’s of Maine have become staples in our home. They are easy to find and inexpensive. It’s going to take some time to convert our household, but it’s definitley doable.

Coming out of the closet…

September 26, 2008

I’ve been procrastinating with telling my conservative parents that I am now a vegan. It’s absurd that I feel like I should have to hide it, but after my conversation with my mother last night, I realize my fears were justified. I received alot of comments like – What will you eat? Vegans, aren’t they those extreme animal activists? That can’t be healthy! What about the holidays? Are you sure you want to go this route? Blah, blah, blah. I really thought that maybe it was all in my head, that I was imagining that my mother was going to be almost angry about it. I’m a 33 year old woman and last night I felt like I was 12 and getting a lecture. I really want to be the person that stands up for what she believes in and says “YES! I am a vegan and this is why….” I took the health route, yes, I am a gutless vegan. I didn’t want to seem like the left wing, extremist, wackjob that my parents think all vegans are. Why is it so hard? How the media portrays animal rights advocates and stupid stunts like what PETA just pulled with this Ben & Jerry’s breastmilk ice cream BS, is part of the reason we have such a hard time. The animal rights movement deserves serious and mature people to fight for and represent the cause. It really irritates me. PETA really just perpetuates the stereo-type that we’re all “out there”, as my father would put it, and we’re really not. We’re normal people. We’re your neighbors, your daughters, your friends, the people you pass by on the street. We’re just everyday people. Of course, there are wackjobs out there, but vegans and animal rights advocates hardly have the monoply on that.