Monday, December 30, 2013

Soup time

It's that time of year again for most and includes myself.  That time when you've over indulged during the holidays and the old waist line and tummy let you know about it.  I have a house full of sweets and enjoyed a little too much bubbly lately.  Time to detox and get back to business.

It's always good to start with letting your system rest, hydrate and fuel.  Soup is always a great option and very inexpensive, especially vegetable soup.
When I make soup, I always make plenty!  It's hard not to.  This soup had the trilogy of carrots, celery and onions with garlic, kale, potatoes and black eyed peas.  I'll freeze some for a rainy day and then just eat the rest little by little until gone!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bella's Science Experiment

This year Bella is conducting her first science experiment.  I myself am enjoying helping her with the process and seeing the results.  Not sure if all of you have ever seen online those McDonald's burgers and fries that claim to be months and years old unchanged.  I believe it.  It gave us the idea to create our own experiment. 

Would we be able to replicate that?  If we added other brands and a homemade burger to the mix, which one would decay first and which would decay the least?

I was surprised by the results myself.  Firstly, the McDonald's burger and fries did decay, and actually the burger decayed most between the two other fast food chain samples of Wendy's and Burger King.  Burger King's burger decayed last and the least, but their fries deteriorated first.

Of course, the homemade version became disgusting right away and showed the most in mold growth.   Remember, anything that bacteria will eat  is organic and "real".  You would want to eat something that breaks down and decomposes. 

When I was frying up the homemade burger, it smelled appalling.  Sautéing onions and vegetables smells ten times better than fatty ground chuck.  The fat that came off of that patty also was a reminder of how artery clogging that stuff is and why I stay away.

 A creepy issue with the McDonald's food was that the mold growing on it was somewhat different than the others.  The fries were very green and it was the only item that grew black mold.  I suppose if we conducted a more advanced experiment, we could determine the types of mold and why some grow and others don't. Probably depends on the materials of which they grow.

I had to end the experiment at 12 days.  Couldn't take it anymore and didn't want to risk letting loose those mold spores too much.  Especially the black mold, which I am allergic to.

Here are the results after 12 days:
 Burger King Whopper meal day 12
 Home prepared ground chuck burger and baked fries at day 12.
 McDonald's Quarter Pounder and fries at day 12.
Wendy's Single meal day 12.

I guess if I were to conduct this again to try and replicate those that left the items in the bag, it may have turned out differently than ours being housed in sealed containers.  I just didn't want to leave food out in a bag.  This was gross enough.

So if you intend to clog your arteries with a burger, make it at home.  If you prefer a fast food heart attack, eat Burger King fries and a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.

Was a Merry Christmas!

We celebrated Christmas in our new home and we are loving it here.  It's peaceful up on this hill and the house is very cozy.  Still trying to settle in and unpack everything and still trying to get Chris to hang up all the wall art. The man hates to put holes in the wall.

 Meet Pepe.  An elf we adopted this year. Kids were able to hold him for eight minutes on Christmas Eve.  Dude moved all over the house.  Kept mommy and daddy very busy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Long stretch

It's been such a long time since my last post that blogger has revamped its layout and I'm like a beginner again. 

Let's see....Since August - The quick rundown:

Bella had a wonderful birthday and also had a sleep over with many little girls over while her mommy was a nervous nelly!  It wasn't bad.  It was also my first sleep over, being the mom.  My mom celebrated her birthday by sharing some time with us while they stayed at Disney for vacation.  The kids got to eat at the T-Rex restaurant and look at all of the wonders inside.  Halloween was interesting this year.  Bella dressed as a Mindcraft character and had a blast, while Kris stayed home with me due to a little behavior issue at school.  There's always next year.

Soon I'll be preparing for Kris's 6th birthday and also our move.   Oh, and somewhere in there I need to prepare for Christmas. We've been working very hard upgrading grandpa's house to become our home.  The addition is almost complete, yet there is still a lot of painting, changing, and fixing to do.

I apologize, but I really don't have many pictures for you.  I've been too busy.  I will post some before and after pictures of the house once we are moved in.  Right now; to say I'm trying to catch up, are some pictures to share.  Once the dust settles (if there is such a moment), I want to begin my garden and return to my blog and sharing recipes and other things along the way.

I can't get enough of our new view. 
Kids playing near the "pole barn".  We hope to convert part of that into a chicken house and garden tool center. 
Kids at T-Trex restaurant. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Man I'm full!

I just finished my mammoth salad for lunch and I am full!  But I'm not worried that I over ate and I'm not feeling guilty about being so full of food because I know I didn't cap my calorie intake for the day on that salad.   

Check this chart out!  You will notice that the plant based foods are far superior to the animal based in nutrients and even supplies more protein.  Only lacking in heart clogging cholesterol and fat. 

Notice how easy it is to over consume on fats?  The stomach receptors for the first two stomach samples won't send a red flag up to the brain that you are full yet with 400 calories of oil or meat, so you can see how you can easily double, triple or quadruple your calories before ever feeling full.  With the veg sample you fill up faster, pack in more nutrients but consume far less calories. 

Playing with raw sauces

I think I mentioned this before, but I have been sneaking more and more raw foods into our diet.  Chris doesn't have a problem being vegan, but he does like eating cooked food so I don't think he would be on board to go fully raw.

Instead of giving my self a negative vibe that this can't be done, I'll just incorporate as many raw meals as I can and see how it flies.

In case you didn't know, going fully raw is pretty much eating the ultimate super diet.  It encompasses the ultimate in vitamins, nutrients and minerals.  The enzymes are intact, the water in the food is there to cleanse and hydrate.  It's wholesome, from the earth to your mouth - not from lab, to a factory, to a box.  It's primo! You can't get any better.  
Here is my lunch, which is of course leftovers from dinner last night. 

I made a tossed veg salad of Swiss chard, watercress, red bell pepper, cucumber, onion and tofu.  Tossed within that spiralized zucchini.  My sauce this time around (it's never the same) was 3 cloves garlic, 1 tub grape tomatoes, 2 avocados, handful of fresh basil, small handful of oregano leaves, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, almond milk and a little Braggs for umami.  Blended in the vitamix until nice and smooth.  

To be honest I was wanting to make a red sauce with just pureed grape tomatoes and herbs but I didn't have enough tomatoes so I threw in the avocado and went that direction. 

Going vegan can reverse many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.  Going raw has been known to also cure cancer and reverse or cure even more diseases.  Better yet, it's the best barrier to help stay cancer free.  So if I can incorporate as many raw fruits and veg into my diet as I can, I think I am doing a good thing. 

The kids?  Well, I'm still working on them on so many levels...  Kristjan still looks at greens, then looks at me like I'm crazy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bella's creations

Bella has been creating her own characters at summer camp out of fuzz balls and glue.  No kits, just Bella using her awesome imagination.  I think we may have a children's book in the works here if she keeps making us new critters.
 Harry the pig
 A squirrel named Mr. Nut
An octopus named Mr. Blue
I wonder what she will make today..

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I still love Jamie Oliver

I know he's not vegan, but he's still my hero.  He's out there trying to teach adults and children about eating healthier.  If I were still into meat, I would do it his way.  Homemade, natural and wholesome.  He's also a hoot and he makes me smile!  He's been cheering me up for years.

My favorite series he did was Jamie At Home.  Here is one of my favorite episodes!
Perhaps I'll post a different episode for you later.  Enjoy!  :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Another "Sprouts" bowl

I love these bowls!  I make them and then top away.

This time it was red quinoa with leftover tofu scramble and I added kale and a little salsa. Then piled on the toppers!
 Leftover scramble and added dinosaur kale and salsa.  Simmered just to wilt and warm.
Toppers for this dish I chose tomatoes, avocado, Daiya vegan cheese, scallions and onions. 
Because I can never have too many onions!
Once I have it loaded with my toppers you can't see the other ingredients.  Picture quality is poor as I had to use my phone.  My camera battery died!


A very yummy tofu scramble.
Cooked in a cast iron skillet!  Sautéed onions and peppers added crumbled firm tofu, chipotle spice, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  Then topped with grape tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.

Pictures turn out so much better during the day!

New neighbors

We will be moving to a new home.  Not a "new" home, but a refurbished one.  Still a lot of work that needs to be done, professionally and from Chris, his friends and I.  Yes!  I want to help too!
Chris pulling up the countertops in the kitchen to be replaced.  We will also be putting tile up eventually between the back splash and upper cabinets.
 New neighbors!
 Half of a pole barn.  Part if it we will convert into a chicken coop!
More of those cool neighbors!

The house is up on a hill and always has a breeze.  Will be so nice.

Vegan Stroganoff

Vegan Stroganoff of sorts that is.  Not close to the authentic version, but it was a creamy goulash of goodness none the less.

I used quinoa pasta and for the sauce I caramelized onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms then added Gimmie Lean (soy sausage) Braggs liquid aminos, red wine, almond milk, nutritional yeast and corn starch to thicken.

Turned out yummy!
I added petite sweet peas, cauliflower and broccoli to get in some extra green veg.

Pizza time!

The kids love to make pizza.  I have to let them take turns each time or split the dough in two.  This week it was Bella's turn.
She did awesome!

Now if I could get them just as excited about making their beds or putting things away....

Sunday, July 28, 2013

More creamy "pasta"

Creature of habit that I am, I had to make another go of that creamy vegan Alfredo stuff with zucchini pasta again.
 Freshly spiralized zucchini.
Here I sautéed some roasted red peppers, dandelion greens, garlic, butter beans, red wine, salt, pepper and a tad of honey for a side dish.
My mixture before adding the zucchini and cream sauce this time was mushrooms, onions, tofu, frozen Japanese veg mix, salt and pepper.  I then tossed in the zucchini to warm and the avocado cream sauce.
Let's just say, it was really hard not to get seconds.  I'll have to try this with pasta someday.  Like I mentioned before, each time I make something, I tweak it.  I was a good girl and referenced my post from last time on the sauce.  But really, each dish I make has it's own personality.

Speaking of personalities....I have plenty.  We have:
 The Weeman, our resident goofy and playful personality.
And Bellabean, our resident shy and sensitive personality.

Summertime Fun!

Thought to share some moments from this summer.
More to come!  Gotta save these moments for forever.