Sunday, August 25, 2013

Meals Out

Just wanted to share a couple of recent restaurant meals before I sign off for awhile to prepare for Vegan MoFo. During the month of September I will be posting vegan food only and attempting to post every day!  
First, Tino's, our usual standby when we're craving Greek food. Tino's has locations all over Austin and we've never been disappointed with it. This time around, I selected spanakopita, tabouli, salad, hummus and falafel patty for my "pick 5" veggie plate.

We also had some baba ganoush with pita.

One afternoon I took the kids to Salvation Pizza to use a Groupon. We started with garlic bread and marinara. The dense, chewy bread comes from Easy Tiger

We ordered a half-and-half pizza. Half eggplant, half spinach. The kids insisted they wanted spinach on their pizza and who was I to say no? The eggplant was my choice. Tony hates eggplant, so I will eat it whenever the opportunity presents itself at a restaurant. Salvation advertises that they sell "New Haven-style pizza" and I'm not sure how that differs from New York-style, but at any rate, it was quite a tasty pie.

The only downside of dining out, as far as Jackson and Olivia are concerned, is that they don't get to dry dishes.

See you in September!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The August sun is zapping my ability to come up with catchy post titles. It's also preventing us from doing anything outdoors. This has turned into the Summer of Skating.

All the little kids use these walkers, which kinda cracks me up.

The first time we went, Olivia used the plastic baby skates that lock. She complained that she couldn't go fast enough. So this time, I let her get real roller skates. She was so proud.

I've made a few testers this week for Joni's new book geared towards new vegans. 

Squash Sloppy Joes. Made with summer squash, served open-faced with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.

Herb Roasted Potatoes. The herbs form a crunchy crust. These smell great while they are roasting.

Sweet and Smoky Tempeh Strips. This is seriously the best tempeh bacon I've ever eaten.

Perfect on pumpernickel/rye swirl bread with lettuce, tomato and Veganaise.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tony's 40th

I can't believe my baby-faced husband is 40! At least he's finally starting to get some gray hairs, so maybe strangers won't think I'm a cradle robber.

For his birthday, we cooked out at my parents' house. I brought a veggie burger with me so I could have my burger, along with simple pasta salad and corn on the cob.

For dessert I made Tony's favorite -- his mom's German chocolate cake recipe.

The next evening, my parents graciously watched the kids so we could go out to dinner with some friends and celebrate. Tony chose Frank for dinner and dranks. I started with waffle fries, served with Cajun remoulade.

Then I had a veggie Chicago dog loaded with vivid green relish and little hot peppers. Yum! I appreciate that this meat lovers' paradise (even their whisky is bacon-infused) offers a separate veggie menu and will always substitute a vegan dog.

Happy birthday, babe!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Astronauts, Bankers and Artists

Today we made our final trip of the summer to the New Braunfels children's museum.

Astronaut Jackson cooked up some space food.

Banker Olivia guarded all the cash.

A turtle really, really liked Olivia. It kept swimming over to wherever she stood.

Young artists hard at work.

Making crayon rubbings.

Finally, a session at the face-painting table.

Dinner was Veggie Stirfry with Spicy Almond Sauce from Vive le Vegan!, made with tofu, broccoli, kale, red peppers, celery and other goodness.

Blast off!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Glow Bowl

Today we did a little glow in the dark bowling. The fluorescent colors and loud 80's music couldn't break my girl's concentration.

But Jackson gets a little loopy when the lights go out.

Afterwards we stopped in to visit my parents. Olivia enjoys her coloring time with Grandma.

Dinner was Masala Potato Soup from Vegan Eats World, served with garlic naan. It was tasty but I have had Indian soups which are just as good and take less time to prepare, so we'll see if this one makes a return.

We picked up these GoodPop Watermelon Agave popsicles for dessert. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Pho Sho

Today I made the Sizzling Seitan Pho from Vegan Eats World, only I made it with baked tofu instead of seitan. Look at all those greens! Baby bok choy, Thai basil, mint and cilantro. I kicked up the flavor with a dollop of sambal oelek.  Pho is always time consuming, but the end result is worth it. I have my own vegan pho recipe if you're interested.

The kids received free bike helmets.  Partay! The bowling alley was doing a giveaway and had hospital volunteers on hand to measure heads and make sure the helmets fit properly. If they're this excited over the helmets, just think how pumped they will be when they get bikes. They won't have to wait too long; we are going to surprise them with new bikes on Jackson's birthday.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Day's Eats

Three solid meals today. Breakfast was a waffle with Greek yogurt, sliced peaches, bee pollen, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Bee pollen is a new interest of mine. Pollen from local bees is supposed to help with allergies, which have bothered all of us since we moved back to Texas. Bee pollen is also said to have a multitude of other health benefits, including increasing your energy and giving you better skin. You want to start with just a small amount on your tongue, to make sure you're not allergic to it. 

Lunch was miso soup with tofu, scallions, and wakame. Tony got in the habit of having miso soup for breakfast every day when he was in Japan. I prefer it for lunch. 

Dinner was the PPK's Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Spinach and Olives. A favorite of the whole family.

I picked up a special treat for dessert -- Salazon organic dark chocolate with sea salt and crushed black pepper.

I'd tried chocolate sprinkled with sea salt before. However, the black pepper/chocolate combination was new to me. Look at all those little flecks of pepper. It was awesome!

Have you tried any new foods lately?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We spent yet another sweltering day indoors.

For dinner, I made recipe I found on Pinterest: Spaghetti with Mascarpone, Meyer Lemon, Spinach, and Hazelnuts. I think mascarpone is too rich for my taste.

When Tony came home from work, he said he had a surprise for the Jackson and Olivia and they should go look in his car. They searched the front and back seats and found a bowl of cheesy poofs, left over from a party at Tony's office. Their reaction was subdued.  Maybe that wasn't the surprise he was talking about. So they had him pop the trunk open. Out floated a huge bunch of balloons! Now they were excited. I love how a simple thing like balloons can make their day. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Deconstructed Sushi

Today we headed downtown to the children's museum. The museum is moving to a brand new building this fall, which is exciting. But they will be closed for three months in order to move. So we're trying to get in a few final visits before the closing date. 

Big brother watching out for little sister as we walk to the train.

For dinner, I wanted the flavors of veggie sushi, but I was simply too lazy to dig out my sushi rolling mat. The result of my slothfulness was a super easy rice bowl.

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl (serves 2)
1 cup sushi rice
2 T rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 cucumber
1 avocado
1 sheet nori
1 T soy sauce
pickled ginger
wasabi paste

In a saucepan, combine rice with 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. When the rice is done cooking, toss it in a big bowl with the rice vinegar and sugar. Let it cool to room temperature. While it cools, chop the cucumber and avocado. With kitchen scissors, snip the nori into little pieces. Divide the rice into two bowls and top with cucumber, avocado, and nori. Dress with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi paste, to your personal taste.

Monday, August 12, 2013

July Vegan Cuts Snack Box

I was such a fan of the Vegan Cuts snack box I was sent a few months ago that I ended up subscribing to the service for the month of July. Here's what I received.

Snapea Crisps. I was pleasantly surprised by the Cheeto-like texture (not flavor) of these crisps. I'm not sure how green peas are transformed into these crunchy little snacks, but they are good. I also received a buy-1-get-1 coupon. 

Macro Greens cinnamon chocolate superfood bar. Jackson and Olivia made short work of this fortified snack bar. I convinced them to let me try a bite and can confirm that it's like a chocolatey, cinnamony brownie.

Lady Jane toasted hemp seeds. Looking forward to sprinkling these on my next salad.. I like the nutty flavor of hemp seeds.

Seaweed Love roasted seaweed snacks. I don't care to snack on seaweed; to me it has a fishy aftertaste. Tony loves the stuff, however. He said these were good and tasted the same as the ones he buys at the Asian market. 

Food Should Taste Good multigrain chips. I tucked this snack in my bag for a playdate...Jackson and Olivia give it a thumbs up.

Nature's Bakery fig bar with whole wheat, peach and apricot. My favorite snack out of the whole box. Much more tender and moist than a Fig Newton. I'll buy a box of these next time I see them at the store.

Funky Monkey "Jivealime" chips. Made from freeze-dried pineapple and lime juice. Jackson and Olivia actually said these crunchy fruit treats were too sweet. 

Smooze coconut milk fruit ice. I'm not sure why this is still in my freezer! I need to eat it up.

Viana vegan sausage stick. Jackson wolfed this down and asked for more.

Eat Green Tea supplement...supposed to contain the same amount of antioxidants as 30 cups of green tea. Haven't tried it yet.

So there we go. I like that you can subscribe to Vegan Cuts on a month-by-month basis. If money is tight, you can cancel and pick it up again when you can afford to splurge on snacks. So it's a very low-commitment way to try a bunch of vegan items you may not be able to find locally.

Jackson hard at work...