Friday, January 29, 2016

New Year's Day

Tony has a tradition of eating a big old steak on New Year's Day. I know, so lovely. Well, he is vegetarian by default about 90% of the time, so we compromise on this tradition. This year, we met up with my parents for lunch at Roaring Fork, a "wood fired" type restaurant in North Austin.

You know, the type of place where they serve your family-size sides of mashed potatoes and street corn in their own little cast iron pots. 

Blackberry margarita swirl had me swirled. Not really. It was like medium-strong. But yummy.

There is nothing on the Roaring Fork menu for vegetarians outside of the salads 'n' sides. I had a salad with arugula, goat cheese, figs, and candied nuts.

After lunch, Jackson helped me smudge our entire house with sage. Hippie alert! But it smells soooo good.

Out with the old, in with the new!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Voodoo Child(ren)

Recently we surprised Jackson and Olivia with a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts, which has been around for a long time in Portland, but just recently set up shop in Austin.  We took them on a mystery outing, parking and walking up 6th St. without telling them where we were going. When we came to the source, they were only a little excited.

Not all of their donuts are available vegan, but several are, including the namesake voodoo doll donut. If you stab it with the pretzel stick, it oozes jelly! Now, I am not a big donut person. About 2-3 times a year, I crave a donut. That's it. But when I have that craving, I want a good donut, not some gas station Krispy Kreme crap. And this was a goooood donut. Thick frosting, no skimping on the jelly filling, and the donut itself was fresh and light and chewy. 

Jackson and Olivia went with the (not vegan) bubblegum donuts. The frosting really did taste exactly like bubblegum, it was a little unsettling, but delicious at the same time.

Saucy box!

As we walked back to the car, we encountered the usual 6th St. randomness.

Honestly, the only way I could possibly love them more? If they were also pizza.

For dinner I attempted to even out the donut indulgence, with a nice healthy pot of barley vegetable soup (recipe from Celebrate Vegan.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

John, I'm Only Eating Pizza

The other day we had lunch at Via 313, AKA best pizza in Austin. Their arugula salad with goat cheese was a nice starter, big enough for all four of us to share.

Even without the childhood nostalgia that comes with Detroit-style pizza (because he grew up in Oklahoma), Tony loves this stuff as much as I do.

Afterwards, we stopped at Natural Grocer's to pick up a few cold-weather treats. Teeccino herbal coffee, Tazo cocoa mint yerba mate, and some chamomile soaking salts for the bath.

Amber incense, and more tea- Numi's chocolate pu-erh. Confession: I do not know how to pronounce pu-erh. Is it power? I'm going with power. 

Finally, we stopped by the library and it warmed my heart to see a little David Bowie shrine set up, complete with coloring pages. Start 'em young on the path to good music.

Isn't this how you dress to practice reading? I like to think Mr. Bowie would be pleased.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

All the Food 2016 (Pic Dump)

I thought posting a bunch of random meals would give an idea of how I am eating in 2016. Not 100% vegan, no. Too prohibitive when I am dining out frequently with a husband, parents, and children who are all meat-eaters. They do not want to eat all their meals at vegan restaurants, and I am not just going to eat a plain baked potato at their restaurant choice when I can eat something healthier and/or more satisfying which may also contain some cheese. I am still cooking all vegan at home. So that's what is working for all of us! Also I have started using the MyFitnessPal app back in December to just be more conscious of portion size and calorie intake/output, and as a result I feel I am making healthier choices overall.

Anyway, here's some food I have been putting in my face!

Homemade pad Thai.

Garlic broccoli with rice and spring roll, Bo Asian Bistro lunch w/my parents.

Spaghetti squash and baked tofu, topped with chimichurri (from Vegan Eats World, the best chimichurri recipe ever!)

Medjool date with almond butter, such a great snack when I have sugar cravings because it actually satisfies me instead of just making me crave more sugar!

Some kind of stir fry with cauliflower, broccoli, chickpeas, tomatoes, peas? I'm sure it was good.

Golden Corral...well, what can I say, this was Jackson and Olivia's choice of where to eat lunch on their very last day of winter break.  We usually eat there with Grandma when we go to Oklahoma at Christmas. We didn't go up there this Christmas due to a number of reasons, so I think this was their way of keeping the tradition alive. So much "brown" food in that place, but I tried to keep my plate as "green" as possible.

Pesto margarita from Roots Bistro in Round Rock. I really wish we had a place like this in our hood! Coffeehouse/cafe by day, bar at night, the perfect anytime hangout.

Simple, whole foods: roasted butternut squash, baked tofu, and gingered collard greens (from The 30-Minute Vegan, it's my favorite recipe for collards.)

A sample kid meal. Tater tots, baked tofu, edamame, blueberries.

Butternut fennel soup. Roast 1 butternut squash and 1 bulb of fennel. Puree with vegetable broth. Eat.

Garden burger patty with kale salad (I just toss the kale with flax oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper) and oven fries.

Tortilla soup, from Happy Herbivore's first cookbook.

More pizza! Buffalo cauliflower pizza from Counter Culture, with vegan ricotta, pesto, and red onions. So amazing. And SPICY!

Best banana muffins (from Plant-Powered Families.)

Overnight oats, soaked with chia seeds, soy milk, and chopped dates.

Ezekial bread with avocado and cherry tomatoes.

Ice skating at Chaparral Ice over the winter break. So cold! But so fun!

Monday, January 25, 2016


We kicked off the weekend with a birthday party for one of Olivia's kindergarten friends. As she proudly tells me, her class is nicknamed the Amigos, because they are all such good friends. I teach gardening with the class once a week and can confirm, they are all total sweethearts. I am swarmed with hugs each time I enter the classroom. So grateful for her fantastic teacher who places such an emphasis on kindness and friendship.

Rides, games, we love Mt. Playmore!

Jackson and Olivia had never tried out one of these dollar massage chairs. I admit I was also curious. Would the 3-minute massage be worth the dollar? Only one way to find out.

It was worth it. I want one of these things in my living room please.

The rest of the weekend, we kicked it around the house, finally taking down our Christmas decorations and doing a little spring cleaning. (Since winter seems to be cancelled here in Austin.) I made the Fettucine Alfredo from Plant-Powered Families, one of the few recipes that both of my kids love.

Sunday morning I made some chickpea flour omelets from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food. The cookbook title is a mouthful and so was my omelet. I may have overdid it on the fillings: cashew cheeze, avocado, baby spinach, black olives, and scallions.

From the same book, I made granola for Tony to take for breakfasts during the week. He has a long commute so he likes to have something he can munch in the car.

And today I am having a big bowl o'veggies for lunch with a dollop of leftover cashew cheeze.

An up-to-date post, wow! It is a Monday miracle my friends. Hope you had a nice weekend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cupcakes and Enchiladas

Back in November, my friend Jennifer and I took another decorating class at Make It Sweet. We had so much fun with sugar cookies, we decided to try cupcakes.

The best part was taking home a dozen cute cupcakes! Plus it is always fun to catch up with Jennifer, and learn some new baking techniques while we're at it.

The same day, we also caught up with my parents, who had just arrived back in Austin from Michigan, to spend the cold months here as they do every year.

We met for lunch at Dos Salsas in Georgetown. The service is always great and their veggie enchiladas are good and filling.

My mom had a rough time in Michigan, suffering a stroke over the summer. When something like that happens, it is hard to be so far away. I am glad to have her nearby now, and it is good to see her getting her appetite back and continuing to heal.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dental Helpers

Today the kids had their dental cleanings. I love our dentist and her team, so much. The hygienist is fantastic with my kids. She let them be her assistants, which they loved. 

Olivia, having a power trip moment as she wields the water pik.

No cavities! I am proud of the way they care for their teeth. I had a mouthful of fillings by their age.

For dinner I found an Isa Does It recipe I had not yet tried, the Tempeh Meatballs. I also made the accompanying sauce recipe. The sauce is wonderful, as for meatballs I think I prefer Dreena's, made from walnuts and pecans.

Learning a little coding before bed.

A sweet bedtime moment joking around with Daddy.