Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Goodbye to MoFo

 Just like that, September, the Vegan MoFo, has come to an end. What an eventful and soggy month it has been here in Austin. I have been focused on making our new home more homey, and it's coming along nicely.

Monster looking like a little sultan on my new couch coverings.

He is a fan of our new rug, too. I think it must have doggie catnip embedded in its fibers or something. As soon as he steps a foot (paw) on it, he must lie down and sleep for several hours.

I found this poster at a garage sale freshman year of college, and it has made every move with me. Happy to find a bright new frame for it and display it in a place of honor (the guest bathroom.)

My cookbooks also have a new home! I found this old "pie cooling cabinet" and thought it would make a perfect bookcase. Apparently, people used to need to cool a lot of pies.

Soccer equipment is a common sight in every room of our home. This week it was our turn to provide snacks at the half.

Pirates are 4-0 so far. Go team!

I'll leave you with one last Pinterest find, probably my favorite of all that I've sampled this month: Linguine with Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce. Creamy and decadent like an alfredo sauce, yet the lemon makes it bright and fresh.

I've really enjoyed this year's MoFo, and I actually completed it, blogging every weekday...for the first time ever, I think? The best part was finding lots of new blogs to follow. I hope y'all continue to blog long after September ends!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 21: The Pumpkining

It is that time of year where pumpkin-flavored everything starts to find its way into my pantry. Olivia and I popped into Trader Joe's this morning and came home with pumpkin bagels, as well as hummus salad dressing.

 The bagels are delish smeared with Follow Your Heart cream cheese and apple butter.

And of course hummus salad dressing was made for me. Easy salad of iceberg, spinach, dried cranberries and pepitas.

We also brought this home.

Olivia's and my love of Brussels knows no bounds, and she'd never seen them on the stalk before.

We roasted them with a little olive oil, maple syrup and dijon mustard until they were nice and caramelized. I admit, I will snack on these cold, right out of the fridge.

We also stopped by World Market. I eagerly await their Halloween offerings each year. They always have cute stuff. I grabbed a couple of bags of pasta.

I also bought these tortilla chips, mainly for the Mark Ryden-esque baby vampire on the package.


Plus, a treat for mama -- sugar free Torani pumpkin pie syrup.  Now I'll make my own PSL's; no need for Starbucks' 500-calorie version.

For dinner, a Pinterest find -- Spicy Peas Curry with a side of garlic naan. I loved the fresh tomato flavor in this pea curry.

A rare moment of sibling love, captured on film. Love my two little pumpkins.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 20: Pretzels

I absolutely love soft pretzels, y'all. I don't indulge too often, but I had a jar of Hatch chili mustard that was just calling out to be paired with a chewy, salty soft pretzel, so I picked up a box of Kim & Scott's Bavarian-styles and called it lunch.


Jackson, spending some quality time with his Zord after school.

For dinner I made Banh-Mi Noodles from More Quick-Fix Vegan. I loved this linguine with all the flavors of a banh mi sandwich: tofu, cucumbers, cilantro, sriracha sauce. 

As I type this, my kids and dog are tangled together on the couch, so I had to move over to the loveseat. Love my little pretzels.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 19: DJ Jackson

For breakfast I made strawberry pecan waffles, using the Sinfully Wholesome Waffles from Isa Does It as my base recipe.

I cut up the extras and froze them, so we can pop them in the toaster for quick breakfasts the rest of the week.

Olivia's lunch: strawberries, carrots, and a tortilla roll-up with Lightlife turkey, Follow Your Heart cream cheese, and grated carrots. 

I had a salad with sauerkraut, pickles, dried cranberries, and Annie's Goddess dressing. 

For dinner we had carry-out pizza from Spartan Pizza. I used a Groupon to try out this pizza trailer for the first time. When I picked up the pizza it was pouring rain, and I was surprised they were open! The owner told me he believes in keeping his set business hours, which impressed me. That is not the case with all food trailers in Austin. Anyway, they offer a vegan pizza made with Follow Your Heart cheese, so we gave that a try. The crust was thin but chewy, and the sauce was quite good. I discovered I don't like FYH cheese any better than Daiya, which is to say not at all, but I didn't know that until I tried it, and it's certainly not Spartan's fault. I'd order from them again and just do a cheeseless veggie pizza.

Jackson won a bead necklace and snap bracelet at school. He exclaimed, "I look like a DJ!" Ha! I'm pretty lucky -- laughter is great therapy, and my kids do not charge by the hour.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 18: Improv

Today Olivia was able to attend a childrens' improv class at a local comedy clob, ColdTowne Theater. The instructor was fabulous with the kids and they all got into it, pretending to be spiders, robots, and flowers sprouting from seeds.

Reaching their petals up towards the sun!

Afterwards, my friend Carey invited us over for lunch, so we brought along some peanut butter cookies that we'd whipped up that morning. The recipe is from Vive le Vegan and it's the best one I've come across. They have a nice hint of saltiness, and bits of creamy peanut butter throughout.

For dinner I made Ginger Coconut Green Linguine. I loved the idea of using chard and spinach along with basil to make the pesto sauce, and it was really simple and delicious! Can be a lightning-fast weeknight dinner if you have washed your greens beforehand.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

VeganMoFo Day 17: 4 1/2

Today Olivia turned 4 1/2. She is eager to get four over with because she thinks the real fun starts at five, so this was an exciting, if unofficial, birthday milestone for her. We spent the morning at a music class.

For dinner I made a trio of Pinterest finds. First, Cara's Fish Sticks, served with a dip made from Veganaise and dill relish. They're made from hearts of palm, a previously unfamiliar ingredient for me. I really liked their flavor and texture, would definitely make again since Tony and Olivia enjoyed them as well. (Jackson said they are too salty. He's become quite sensitive to salt, while Olivia has inherited my saltaholic nature.)  On the side, I served Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Instant favorite! Y'all know my adoration for Brussies. And as for chewy wheat berries, I like grains that have a little bite to them! No mealy couscous for me, thanks. So this grain salad was just perfect. A note of caution, the recipe claims you don't have to soak wheat berries overnight. But if you choose not to, you'll have to really extend your cooking time. After 50 minutes, mine were still super tough. I had to cook them for 90 minutes total.

For a special half-birthday dessert, I made Mihl's Tiramisu, complete with homemade sponge cake. I had my doubts about the sponge cake because the batter was so goopy and sticky, not much like a cake batter. But it turned out perfectly because it absorbed the coffee completely!  A blend of vegan yogurt, cashews and coconut oil comprised the creamy layer typically made from ricotta and mascarpone cheeses. At first the tart yogurt flavor was a bit too noticeable, but if you follow Mihl's directions and chill it in the fridge overnight, the flavors smooth out and it's just lovely.  Rather than stacking two layers as the recipe describes, I just made a single layer. It makes a lot, so it would be the perfect "wow!" finish for dinner party.

Happy 4.5, sugar plum!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 16: 52 Cloves (or Thereabouts)

This morning Olivia and I popped into Whole Foods to pick up a few treats. I was craving a yerba mate. I love the mint flavor. Olivia chose Brad's Raw Broccoli Poppers. Similar to kale chips, but broccoli! We quickly finished off the bag together. Olivia also got a free orange. At our Whole Foods there's a little wagon full of fruits by the cash registers, and kids can pick out a free piece of fruit each visit.

We stopped by the outdoor play area so Olivia could do some climbing.

When we got home, I tossed three heads of garlic in the oven to roast. This is always a wonderful sight because I know that in a few minutes, the whole house will start to smell amazing.

Can you believe that wasn't all the garlic that went into 52 Cloves Red Lentil Soup? The recipe calls for five heads total. Three are roasted, two are sauteed. I didn't get an exact count for my cloves as I was peeling and chopping them, but suffice to say, my hands will be smelling like garlic for days. (I don't really mind.) Besides garlic, it also contains other healing ingredients like ginger and turmeric. Goodbye, back-to-school sniffles!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegan MoFo Day 15: The Triangle

This past weekend, we popped in for lunch at Maoz, a vegetarian falafel chain. Their falafel is on point and I love their huge fixins bar. You can customize your sandwich however you like. I went with tahini sauce, chimichurri sauce, and green olives.

Tony felt adventurous and tried their new vegan shawarma. We guessed it's made from seitan but we did not ask, so we could be wrong. It was tough and chewy, and from me that is a compliment because that is exactly how I like my seitan! He also grabbed some amazing sauteed broccoli from the fixins bar. I don't know how they make it taste so good but I could eat a whole plate of it.

Afterwards, we walked over to the playground and talked for awhile while the kids frolicked.

The weather was nice and cool and I felt like singing with joy because I am so ready for fall! We'll get there eventually.