Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vita Mix Giveaway

Jessie Hawkins is giving away a Vita Mix on her blog. It is very easy to enter, no crazy rules. Go here to enter to win.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So Desperate for Sleep

I may not have ever mentioned this, but I have some real sleep issues. For most of my life I have suffered from severe insomnia. For the last few years though, I rarely have trouble falling asleep. This would seem like a blessing, but it really isn't. Even though I fall asleep easily, I do not stay asleep and I do not reach the deep sleep stage where the restorative sleep happens. I have done the sleep studies where they hook you up to a hundred wires and watch you sleep. The results showed I am screwed. The doctors want me on meds that will supposedly help me reach deep sleep, but they will also cause side effects I am not willing to deal with.

As if this wasn't enough, my dear sweet children refuse to stay asleep during the night and insist on waking me and D up, begging us to come in their beds or let them in our bed. They have now decided they are terrified someone/monsters/aliens/or a ghost is going to get them. What the hell? Allowing them to sleep in our bed with us is not a viable option. I am all for attachment parenting, they did sleep with us when they were babies and toddlers, but now they are 5 & 8 and very restless sleepers. Our bed is not big enough and they keep us awake with their kicking and rolling around.

So any advice on how to get them to stay in their beds and get over these fears of monsters/aliens/ etc. is very much appreciated. As are any remedies for my crappy sleep. Oh, did I mention I now have a nasty habit of falling asleep in inappropriate places? Yes, like waiting rooms,peoples houses, driving down the road! Yeah, that sucks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Banana Cherry Frozen Dessert

Ok, ok. I know this picture looks like a pile of doo, but it isn't.

I was craving a sweet, cold treat, and had seen this post on using frozen bananas to make a raw banana soft serve on Choosing Raw, so I just took 3 frozen bananas, added about a cup of frozen cherries and threw them in the food processor. I ran the processor for about 5 minutes, stopping several times to scrape down the sides.

This was just right for my craving. A and M both loved it. While it may not taste like cow juice ice creams, it is much much healthier and a nice little treat. Try throwing in a few chocolate chips for a little extra sweet treat.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review of Luna Cookie

I received a sample of the new Luna Cookie in Berry Pomegranate in the mail. I was looking forward to trying this, so I tried one of the little bars and gave the kids the other one.

The flavor is nice and the icing adds a bit of sweetness. I do like these, but I would not call these cookies. They are more of a chewy bar than cookie, but they are good. The kids both liked them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vegan Turkey Loaf

I made the Vegan Turkey Loaf from The Vegan Family Cookbook. It is also on the membership side of Everyday Dish.

Overall, I really liked it. The flavor is perfect for a faux turkey and the texture came out great. I will be trying it in sandwiches for lunch today. I tried both thin and thick slices and the thin slices win out.

Even A loved it! So that is saying alot and makes it worth cooking again.

My only complaint is that it was a bit dry, but if I remember correctly, so is real turkey. I meant to make a brown gravy to go with it, but I forgot until it was too late, so next time I will definitely make some.

I will making this on a regular basis and will probably use the thin slices for sandwiches for the kids school lunches.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baked Chimichanga with Tempeh and Tomatillos

The cabinets are getting pretty sparse and it is hot as hades in my house. Frankly I haven't felt like cooking, but the kids gotta eat. Though no matter what I make, it is pretty much guaranteed A won't eat it anyway.

I am not kidding when I say the cabinets are getting sparse, there is not much in there. I did have a package of Tempeh and some tomatillos I picked up at the farmers market the other day. I flipped through some recipes and found inspiration from Vegan Dad and his baked chimichanga recipe. I used less chili powder because I didn't want it spicy, I wanted A to try it and M to eat it.

Here is my version:

1 Tbl. oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. tempeh, crumbled
5 tomatillos
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
5 whole wheat tortillas
1 can vegetarian refried beans

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat oil in large skillet and cook onion and green pepper until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tempeh, tomatillos, spices and water. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Spread refried beans on the tortilla, top with tempeh mixture and some salsa.
  • Fold up the tortilla, tucking in the ends (use refried beans to make it stay closed)
  • Place on baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
  • Brush on a little oil, or use a spray oil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • You can serve it with tofu sour cream, lettuce, tomato, etc. I just added some more salsa on top.

The tortillas I had in the fridge were a bit past their prime, so they started to rip when I tried to fold them. They still tasted great though.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Banana Pudding Bars

Basically I believe Hannah Kaminsky from Bittersweet blog is a goddess of vegan food. So, I was thrilled when I saw her recipes in VegNews for the picnic treats. I was having people over for and decided I had to try the banana pudding bars.

The recipe is pretty easy and it didn't take too long to make once I found some vegan vanilla wafers at the store. So far, so good.

I made sure to cool them overnight, for extra firmness. Alas, I screwed up somewhere, because this is what they look like when I tried to take them out of the pan:

Hardly the beautifully bar shaped wonders Hannah managed to produce. As for the flavor, well, not so much banana taste as lemon. I had a bad feeling about these. Obviously I could not serve these to company. Thank goodness I also made the tried and true amazing oatmeal cookies.

The shocking thing? A actually liked these! Figures she would like my disasters. M liked them, too.

I will try this again, but next time, I will use less lemon and more vanilla wafers, I think the crust was way too thin to hold them together.

Fit Soul Fit Body Book giveaway

Happy Herbivore is giving away a copy of the book Fit Soul, Fit Body. Be sure to pop on over to enter for your chance to win.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vegan Broccoli Quiche and an Incredibly Easy Pie Crust

I found this recipe on PPK and had to try it. Oh, I am so glad I did, this is really fabulous. Everyone (except A) loved it. My sister was really impressed with the pie crust, which was insanely easy to make. I actually found over it over at allrecipes.

The pie crust is so savory and worked perfectly for this quiche. I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.

Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tblsp. soymilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place all ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with a fork. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottome and side of crust.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Use as directed in favorite pie recipe.

If using crust for a dessert pie, decrease salt by 1/2 and use a generous Tblsp. of sugar.

See? Didn't I tell you it was easy? And when have I ever lied to you? Come on now, you know I haven't.

Broccoli Quiche:

Note: The broccoli pieces should be tiny, anywhere between the size of a pea to the size of a dime. As you chop, the florets might become crumbs. That’s just fine! Scrape them up with your knife and use them.

Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups finely chopped broccoli (see note)
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
healthy dose fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 pound extra firm tofu
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (dijon or regular, most anything will work)
a handful or cherry or grape tomatoes for decorating (optional)

1 9 inch prepared pie crust (see recipe above)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. In the meantime, start preparing the filling.

Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, thyme, tarragon, tumeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until broccoli is soft. If it starts to look dry add a tablepoon or 2 of water.

Meanwhile, process the cashews in a food processor into fine crumbs. Give the tofu a squeeze to get rid of some of the water, then crumble it into the food processor along with the mustard. Process until relatively smooth. When the broccoli mixture is done cooking, add one cup of it to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the rest of the broccoli mixture and combine. Taste for salt. Use a rubber spatula to get everything into the pie crust and smooth the top out. Place cherry tomatoes around the perimeter of the pie and one in the center for maximum Good Housekeeping adorableness. Bake for 40 minutes, until edges of the pie are lightly browned.

Let the quiche sit for 20 minutes as it tastes best when it is warm, not piping hot. It’s also great at room temperature.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beware of Morningstar Farms, Previously Vegan Foods No Longer Vegan!

So Adam Kochanowicz of the Vegan News has a new resource page system to look up products and companies to see if they are vegan or test on animals. It is located here. Anyway, he posted a snippet saying if you are looking for Vegan burger crumbles, to buy Boca as they are vegan and NOT Morningstar Farms, because they contain dairy and egg. This surprised me as I have been buying the Morningstar Farms ones because I have checked the ingredients and never seen dairy or egg listed and they are one of the few foods A actually likes and eats.

I checked Morningstar Farms website, and sure enough, listed as ingredients are dairy and egg. I checked the package in my freezer (I know I am crazy, but not crazy stupid) and my package did not show dairy or egg. I emailed the company for clarification and to my dismay, I received the following response:

Mrs. Crazy Vegan Mom,

Thank you for contacting us concerning Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Grillers™ Recipe Crumbles. We appreciate your interest in our company and products, as well as your loyalty over the years.

This product was reformulated in January to contain milk and egg ingredients for proprietary reasons. The product that you have in your freezer was likely made prior to this reformulation. Because product formulations may change from time to time, consumers are strongly encouraged to read the package label prior to every purchase. If you are vegan or have food allergies, we are sorry for any inconvenince this may cause you.

Kellogg Company was founded with a philosophy that encouraged people to improve their health. As W.K. Kellogg said, "We are a company of dedicated people making quality products for a healthier world."

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your questions and concerns and thank you for your loyalty to our brands.

Courtney Placinta

Assistant Manager, Consumer Communications
Consumer Affairs Department

My favorite part is: Kellogg Company was founded with a philosophy that encouraged people to improve their health. As W.K. Kellogg said, "We are a company of dedicated people making quality products for a healthier world."

Bah! How is adding dairy and egg to an previously vegan product improving health?
So, this was my response and I encourage everyone to inundate them with emails, phone calls and letters urging them to change back! Here is their contact info page.

Ms. Placinta,

Thank you for your reply.

I must say though, that I am extremely disappointed! If your philosophy is to improve peoples health, then you are certainly going about it the wrong way. Eggs and dairy are not healthy food choices, in fact they are very bad for peoples health. Eggs and dairy are full of cholesterol and saturated fat, they have been shown to increase cancer and heart disease along with contributing to obesity. Not to mention how bad it is for the poor chickens and cows that must suffer horribly to supply the eggs and dairy.

I do hope your company will reconsider this bad decision. You will lose many customers because of this. I am also surprised considering the huge influx of upset customers who convinced Boca to remove all eggs from their entire line, a wise choice they made to follow the suggestions of their customers.

I have already seen a backlash to this decision among many people, all my vegan friends and family members have decided to boycott your products.

I am sorry to say I will no longer buy any Morning Star Farms products until I see this company reverse this bad decision.

Thank you,
Crazy Vegan Mom

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Banana Cherry Walnut Bread

Bad pictures, great bread. The recipe is on Fat Free Vegan blog, so I will send you there to get it so you can see her pictures, because they are so much better than mine and do the bread more justice. The only thing I did differently is I used frozen cherries because I didn't have any dried ones.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

30 Minute Vegan Homey Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

Another recipe from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking. I was looking for something comforting and this jumped out at me. A very simple recipe, the authors do state it will take closer to 45 minutes for this and it did take 45 minutes! The recipe called for spelt flour, but I used whole wheat (because I don't have any spelt flour, so there!)

Well worth the extra couple minutes, this recipe is another winner. The flavors blended together so well. I just can't say enough. This is one of my new favorite meals and will be making it again soon. M loved it, A hated it, D thought is was really good. Unfortunately for my sister, there was none left for her to try. D ended up eating A's portion as she refused to, big shock I know.

Monday, August 3, 2009

30 Minute Vegan Put the Tex in Your Mex Chili

We were having friends over, so I decided to try making chili from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking.

This came out awesome! It did take closer to 45 minutes, but I am pokey, so there. But still, 45 minutes for great chili, I'll take it. It is not too spicy, just the right amount of spice, especially when kids will be eating it.

M loved it, D loved it, my sister loved it, I didn't even try to give A any. My friends really liked it, so I say it was a success.

She does include a recipe for sour cream, but I just served it with Tofutti brand Sour Supreme cuz I am lazy and D had picked some Sour Supreme up to make dip, but never made the dip, so I stole it. Sucka!

Try it, you'll like it.