Monday, September 1, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 1

If you've come across my page via the Vegan MoFo blogroll, welcome! I'm Sara, stay-at-home mama of Jackson (6) and Olivia (4), wife of Tony, and human companion of Monster.

I cook vegan food at home, but I will eat vegetarian items at restaurants or if we're dining at someone else's house, so that is why I don't classify myself as vegan. Tony and the kids are omnivores, so I make eggs and grilled sandwiches for them from time to time. But I don't cook meat for them, because I don't know how, and I think it's gross. Anyway, this month everything I post will be totes vegan.

I typically write about our daily activities as a busy, adventure-loving family, as well as the food we make. I noticed that a lot of bloggers adopt a theme for MoFo, so this month I've decided I will try to make as many recipes as possible from my Pinterest boards. I have a habit of pinning stuff and never getting around to actually making it, so this will give me a little push, and hopefully be somewhat interesting for you as well.

But there will also be randomness. I have the attention span of a goldfish and can't stick to a theme for thirty days. I have tried before. So before I get to my Pinterest recipe of the day, allow me to share my first-ever attempt at steaming an artichoke.

I saw beautiful whole artichokes at Trader Joe's and decided to bring one home. The anatomy of the artichoke had always been intimidating to me. There's something called a "choke?" And it's sharp and spiky?

Artichokes are actually super simple. I followed this recipe. I didn't injure myself on the spiky choke. Victory! Olivia and I first tried dipping the leaves in melted Earth Balance with black pepper. We didn't like it, so we ended up making a dipping sauce of Veganaise and a little sriracha. I can report it was delicious, and Olivia approved of the new vegetable thanks to its tactile, finger-food aspect.

And here is the Pinterest find for today. Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread. I veganized it no problem by using Earth Balance and subbing flax eggs (1 Tbsp. ground flax + 3 Tbsp. water = 1 egg). If you are new to using flax eggs, be sure to mix the ground flax and water in a small bowl before you do anything else. Then they will have achieved a suitably goopy and "eggy" consistency when it's time to add them to your batter.

A moist, uber-chocolatey bread, a great way to use summer zucchini.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope to see you again this month and to check out your blog as well, if I'm not already following it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tortugas and Bu

Started off the day with a smoothie. Cherries, spinach, acai, raw vanilla protein powder, almond milk, chlorella, and stevia, topped with bee pollen and hemp granola. 

We met Tony for lunch. We decided to try out Tortuga Flats due to its proximity to our new house. When we sat down, the kids were given some brightly-colored wax sticks to twist into sculptures.

We started with a salsa sampler. The smoky dark salsa was my favorite, but the avocado tomatillo salsa and pico de gallo were good, too.

I had the veggie enchiladas filled with quinoa, sweet potato, and kale.  Mostly sweet potato. Maybe one bite of kale per enchilada. An all right lunch, but we wouldn't go out of our way to go back.

Light dinner: Hatch chile baguette from Central Market, and honeydew kombucha. I had never tried this brand, The Bu, before. I love honeydew so I'll look for it in the future.

Olivia learned to play dominoes before bedtime. This girl loves games and she can beat me at many of them.

Monster, my companion and also my spirit animal.

See you on Monday for Vegan MoFo!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Birthday Boy

So I already mentioned how Jackson celebrated his sixth birthday up in Oklahoma with his cousins. We tried to make the actual day special for him, too, in a more low-key sense. He woke up to presents from my parents and my brother and sister-in-law.

I made some special breakfast butterflies for him and Olivia, using the Sinfully Wholesome Waffles from Isa Does It for the "wings."

Later, a birthday dinner at his favorite restaurant, Chuy's. Celebratory margaritas for Mama and Daddy.

I ordered my usual combination of salad and veggie enchilada.

Jackson was a little startled when the servers gathered around our table to sing to him. But an ice cream treat brought a smile back to his face.

Throughout our meal we were kept company by a little cat who wandered around on the patio and found some stray salsa bowls to lick clean.

Happy birthday, Jackson! Six is going to be filled with many adventures.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ready for Soccer

Jackson has had soccer fundamentals in the past, but this fall he will be playing on an actual league with games and everything. I'm not sure how I feel about him learning to be competitive, but hopefully the other parents are relaxed about it and realize these are just little kids out on the field. 

Practice doesn't start until next week, but his cleats and shin guards arrived in the mail today and he wanted to break them in. Olivia was eager to join in.

Afterwards, lunch. Carrot sticks and hummus, strawberries, sun chips, and lemonade.

We also snacked on some homemade granola bars. I am determined to find a version my kids will love. We tried Chocolate-Covered Katie's recipe. Mine turned out a little more dry and cakey than her pictures would suggest. They are good but we will have to make some other recipes and compare.

Dinner was Thai Peanut Empowered Noodle Bowl from the Oh She Glows cookbook. I topped it with wasabi sesame seeds that I found at Central Market. See those bright green little specks? They're not spicy (bummer) but they do add a slight wasabi flavor. 

Are you tired of me making stuff from this cookbook yet? Haha. Actually, I'm debating ordering Salad Samurai, so that might be the next book I binge-cook from. But for now we're sticking with OSG.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mellow Mushroom

We don't dine on the Drag very often when UT is in session, because traffic is bad and parking can be a headache. But we recently took advantage of the last few days of summer break to grab lunch at Mellow Mushroom. We started with some olive cheesy bread. Olivia wants me to make this for her at home. We are the olive lovers in the family.

While we waited for our pizza, we admired the cool artwork on the wall above us.

I ordered a vegan pie with all kinds of veggies and tofu scattered on top. Their sauce and crust are wonderful. You have to admire a crust that can stand up to that many toppings.

At home, music was made.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tony's Birthday

Tony's birthday fell on a Sunday this year and he said he really wanted to chill out at home instead of going out, because we have been so busy lately. I made a couple of things from the Oh She Glows cookbook that would appeal to his love of Tex-Mex. First, the Life-Affirming Nacho Dip. Cheezy and wonderful. No reason to wait for a party to make this one. It will get eaten up.

I also made the Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps. Think of all the flavors of a taco -- nut-based taco meat, cashew sour cream, salsa and scallions -- atop homemade baked potato chips. So good. They're small, so we would go back for "just one more," and pretty soon they were all gone!

We gifted him with an antique globe minibar, which he has always wanted. We finally have room for one in our new house.

Overall, he said it was a nice relaxing day with his favorite monkeys.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Day's Eats

Watermelon for breakfast.

Eat Your Greens Detox Soup from The Oh She Glows Cookbook for lunch. I was curious about the unusual combination of flavors in this soup...broccoli, kale, mushrooms, and seaweed? Of course it all came together perfectly. Can't stop, won't stop with this awesome cookbook.

Afternoon snack: No Mallow Rice Krispie Treats from Fran Costigan's Vegan Chocolate. Agar powder and guar gum act as the "glue" for these marshmallow-free bars. Jackson and Olivia loved helping make these.

Dinner was Spicy Tomato, Peanut & Kale Pasta from La Dolce Vegan. Always delightful.

Jackson and his Power Ranger army.