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Monday, October 24, 2011

Vegan MoFo: Freezer Meals for After Childbirth (Or Whenever!)

I am 30 weeks and 3 days pregnant! Now is a good time for us to begin preparations for frozen foods to keep through at least a month after Baby Squiggles is born- into January or February.

We will store food in BPA-free tupperware type of containers and ziploc bags.

We will label each container on scotch tape with the type of food and the date made.

Containers go in the chest freezer in our laundry room (which is primarily for breastmilk) 

We will not have to cook or do any other food prep when we are busy and tired with our little son- cheaper and healthier than relying on take out!! 

We will re-heat using the microwave or toaster oven. 

Here are our ideas so far for yummy vegan foods that freeze well:


Veggie and Mushroom Risotto
Butternut Squash Risotto 
Veggie Stir Fry
Variety of Soups: Split Pea Soup, Potato and Grains Soup, Black Bean Soup, hopefully more
Indian Chickpeas
Curried Lentils
Tofu Gnocchi
Quinoa Burgers

Mashed Potatoes
Plain Brown Rice (to add to some of these dishes or canned beans)

Other Ingredients:
Pesto (to throw on vegan pizzas or pasta)
Vegetable Broth
Frozen Bananas (for smoothies)

Zucchini Bread
Banana Bread
Granola Bars/Energy Bars
Roasted Chickpeas (I eat these like candy!)

...and plenty of Vegan Ice Cream WITH Agave!!

What would you add to this list?

I also have an upcoming post on Smoothie Popsicles for Labor 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan MoFo: Meal Plan for Week of 10/23

Sunday: Vegan Sausage and Cabbage
Monday:  Peas and Thank You Shepherd's Pie
Wednesday: Winging-It Tacos
Thursday: Rice Noodles with Homemade Peanut Sauce
Friday: Leftovers

Saved some butternut squash seeds for roasting

Butternut Squash Risotto

My new hobby- practicing diaper folds on my monkey model!

Vegan MoFo: Best Vegan Moments So Far

Though I haven't been blogging as I promised, I have loved my first Vegan Month of Food and have been connected to some amazing blogs and new recipes! Here are some vegan-related fun things that happened in my life:
My friend's mom sent me this hilarious cartoon! Happy Halloween!

While cooking up a delicious meal, my hubby says (I'm paraphrasing):
"Plants are so 1337*. If only people realized that you get everything you need from them. You don't need to eat anything else."
<3<3<3 He's omni but reasonable and very healthy.
*1337 means leet which means good.

I found out that my friend's little brother has been taught that wheatgerm is "sprinkles" which cracks me up!

Another blog introduced me to the thing I have most been looking for- vegan wonton wrappers!! Can't wait to find them and try!

My darling snake- referred to as Meander or simply Snakey- shed!

Eye scales

We tried it and the garlic trick really works!

I finally watched Forks Over Knives which is streaming on Netflix. What did you all think?

Ian and I worked at an adoption event with mostly kittens. The one older cat present was adopted straight away while we were there- it was the best feeling in the world! This rescue has dozens of older cats and they usually take years to be adopted if at all.

I bought some delicious Halloween candy for Ian and me, not little children.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegan MoFo: Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven

This is one of the first books I read when I found out I am pregnant. I had some lingering concerns that my vegan diet and my baby's health and I was hoping on some information to ensure I am eating the right things for him (turns out, it is almost exactly the same as eating healthily for myself except for the extra protein needed).

I had not read any of the other Skinny Bitch books, of which there are a few. Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin discuss the benefits of vegan eating and the downsides of animal products on one's health. Probably any of these books would have information to benefit a pregnancy, but I did love this book in particular.

Freedman and Barnouin give it to you straight. They address each animal product, state its negative affects on a mama and baby, and summarize the studies that prove such (think the China Study). Then, they tell you not to eat it. I love this message versus the "everything in moderation" cliche that I have fallen back on in the past. If cheese has potential risks on your fetus, eliminate it altogether! Otherwise, is health really a priority?

Also included are meal plan ideas, information on sugars and whole grains, basic pregnancy tips, relevant government agencies, and nasty chemicals and additives to avoid such as BPA.

I recommend this book to any  pregnant vegan (or health concerned!) person! I can't wait to try out some of their other publications such as their recipe book!

Vegan MoFo: Falafel Waffles!

This dinner warrants a whole blog entry! So delicious!

I looked up a few recipes and corroborated them. The common threads seemed to suggest adding a flax egg and some flour to your falafel mix. We used a boxed dry falafel mix + one flax seed egg (1 tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp. water, stir, leave to plump) + 1 tbsp. of whole wheat flour. 

We spray the waffle iron with a little canola oil just in case, turned it on medium heat, and let it cook until it beeps! The edges get a little crumbly.

I added homemade hummus and baby spinach on whole wheat pita.

Two full waffles leftover- we could only eat one half of a waffle each! So dense!

Hubby's falafel waffle included hummus, cilantro, tomatoes and cucumber on whole wheat pita.

This is by far DEFINITELY my favorite way to cook falafel. Fast, easy, clean, and no oil!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vegan MoFo: Overdue Garden Update

*Brief background: We grow some plants on our apartment balcony as well as an herb aeroponic planter indoors. The strawberries and lettuce are done for the season. We have only had one tomato before, and now we have two new ones! (heirloom seeds that we sprouted indoors in April)

Itty bitty green tomato!

Bigger one is turning yellow and red- hopefully we enjoy it before the stinkbugs do!

This is exciting! This basil plant (over a year old) was DEAD.
Brown and brittle. All of the sudden new leaves started to grow!

It turned into a brand new fresh basil plant out of nowhere!

Vegan MoFo: Vegan Food Questionnaire

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Gnocchi with cabbage

Almond Milk but I like them all. I also love coconut water and use it for similar purposes.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

Tomato sauce
Upcoming, I am looking forward to:
Herb-y Polenta Squares
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Peppermint Bark!

3.Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Sausage with cabbage
Baked goods with vinegar! I can never make them taste like anything besides vinegar and will never use it in a recipe again. 

4. How do you organize your recipes?

A couple of cookbook near the kitchen- other than that, I have a couple of huge Gmail drafts with links to recipes that are not organized at all. I am also notorious for winging it and not using recipes. Sometimes, failures, sometimes, yummy stuff that I can't replicate!

5. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Teriyaki portobella burgers


6. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Rice Dream Mint Chocolate Chip (Wish I could eat it now but can't because it's sweetened with agave and I'm pregnant). 

7. Most loved kitchen appliance?

Blender or food processor
Marinating mushrooms

8. Spice/herb you would die without?

Old Bay! 

9. Favorite vegan cookbook and cookbook author?

Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny

10. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Split Pea Soup (this is also what my omni Mom often cooks when we visit)

11. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

I love seitan though I've never made it homemade and have little access to it! Dang is it yummy! Tofu and I are ok, and I dislike tempeh.

12. Favorite meal to cook?

Anything with my husband. I love to cook together. 

13. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

Microwave, alcohol and alcohol accessories, cereal dispensers (like dog food dispensers). 

14. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Tons of peppers, Frozen bananas cut in half for my morning smoothies, and Lush shower jellies!

15. What’s on your grocery list?

For this week: (Pretty long, we have some staples to replenish!)
Extra Firm Tofu
Silken Tofu
Water Chestnuts
Artichoke Hearts
Baked potato wedges
Vegan Cream Cheese
Soy Sauce
Potato Chips
Coconut Milk
Flat Out Wrap Bread
Vegan Sausage
Lemon Juice
Brown Rice
Earth Balance
Arborio Rice
Nut Butter
Vegetable Broth
-and I need to order my prenatal vitamins from the organic market.

Hope I Can Get at a Farmer's Market:
Salad Mix or Arugula 
Apples!!! Please! 
Dahl and brown rice
Bell Pepper
Other Produce- we like surprises!

16. Favorite grocery store?

I really like MOMs- My Organic Market which is a chain in Maryland.

17. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

Spinach Balls- I've done them without eggs but never without parmesan cheese. 

18. Favorite Food Blogs?

So many! Tops are:

Oh She Glows
Peas and Thank You

19. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

20. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

21. Ingredients you are scared to work with?

Vital Wheat Gluten.

22. Favorite vegan café/restaurant?

I haven't been to enough to say :o/

23. What is your favorite Vegan Organization?

Hmm...I don't have much experience with any, but I support and volunteer with our local no-kill animal rescue. My animal love has grown soo much since becoming vegan. Pregnancy may have added to it as well.

24. Do you find it hard to find ready-made vegan food?

My local grocery store has tofu, sometimes tempeh, vegan sausage, vegan ice cream, vegan bacon bits, even vegan marshmallow fluff! Not too shabby!

25. Do you find it hard to find a variety of vegan food?

I find I need to be creative with the relatively few ingredients that are available. If I find a bulk store, though, I can get a wide variety of grains and legumes and take it from there!

26. Do you find it difficult to find vegan friendly venues to eat at?

YES. I live in a rural, low-population place in a county that is a peninsula. There are few restaurants at all and no market for vegan food...or healthy anything.

27. Do you regularly eat at any other vegan\vegetarian venues?  Where?

I have only been to one vegetarian restaurant with some vegan options- Otarian in NYC

Other than that, I often eat at my local Indian restaurant which marks the vegetarian and vegan items on the menu. Really, no other restaurants within an hour make anything I can eat.

28. Do you find it difficult to find places to buy vegan products; packaged food and drink, toiletries?

Somewhat, but I get pleasantly surprised! We live in a rural area- lots of farmers but none organic. There is a small organic store a half hour away with many vegan items and even a local Food Lion has a pretty decent vegan section! When we need a big haul, though, we drive 2 hours to the Whole Foods. We order a lot from 

29. Are you gluten intolerant?


30. What your 5 favorite vegan dishes\desserts?

Chana Pindi
Vegetable Samosas
Veggie Risotto
Zucchini Bread