Pancakes – need I say more

I used to love to make pancakes on the weekend, but that was before I became vegan.  Pancakes without eggs, how do you do that?  What makes them fluffy?   Well, I’ve been working on pancakes.  The girls missed them (and I think S did too).  They all LOVE chocolate chip pancakes.  I prefer pure unadulterated pancakes.  I wanted them to be fat-free and fluffy.  I wasn’t willing to compromise on those things.  I found that veganizing a traditional recipe wasn’t the answer.  I ended up with something that closely resembled a rubbery sponge, it wasn’t pretty.  And wasn’t tasty at all.  It was a mission and I was going to figure it out.  This past weekend I got it, light and fluffy on the inside, brown and crisp on the outside.  They were so good.  Welcome back pancakes – I’ve missed you.

Cranberries, Orange Juice, Walnuts…oh my

Before Christmas I bought some fresh cranberries, I didn’t know what I was going to do with them but they looked pretty.  (Great reason to buy produce, right?)  So I started thinking about what I was going to do with them, back in the “olden days” (as M would say) I used to make pancakes with cranberry orange topping and vanilla yogurt.  So why not do something like that?  I looked around online, but nothing fit my fancy.  So after much thought (and 4 loaves later) I ended up with Cranberry, Orange, Walnut Bread.  Yes, bread.  It’s super moist like a cake, full of wonderful cranberries, and soooooooooo good.  (Especially warm just out of the oven.)  Click here to bake your own.

Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate

Both of my girls love chocolate.  (They are girls after all.)  So rather than just another batch of chocolate chip cookies I decided to make them chocolate, chocolate chip cookies.  They were a huge hit.  What could be better than rich, dark cocoa and dark chocolate chips?  Just be sure to read the ingredients on the chips, you might just be surprised at what’s in them.  The chocolate, chocolate chip cookies vanished even faster than the plain chocolate chip cookies.  Grab some almond milk and A cookie.  (More than 1 wouldn’t be good for you!)

Click here for the recipe.

New Year’s Day – who needs resolutions?

Face it – most people break resolutions before they’re even out of their mouths.  So why do they do it?  I’ve never been one to make resolutions, I figure the other 364 days are just as important.  That being said, for me June 28th was my New Year’s Day this year.  That was the day I started Vegan Hope’s Summer workshop.  I didn’t realize that I wasn’t supposed to go cold “turkey” that first day.  So I did – I read Natala’s first post and meat, cheese, butter, and milk flew out the door.   On one hand it’s hard to believe it’s been this long and on the other it seems like it was just yesterday.  I’ve become someone who reads every label at the store, I marvel at how much animal products cost, and I pay very close attention to what gets put into the cart.  I’ve also learned so much about the foods we and the effect it has on our bodies.   Go without sugar, oil, and salt for 1 week and then have something that has those things in it – you’ll feel the difference in your body.  I’ve certainly felt the difference this month.  I’ve had those things, I’ve felt so “heavy”, I haven’t gained weight but I feel like I have. 

So for New Year’s, don’t make a resolution that you’re not going to keep.  Make a change in your life that you can live with.

It’s been a while…

It’s funny how the best of intentions get pushed to the side in everyday life.  I’ve been coming up with recipes and writing them down, veganizing some others that we’ve always loved, and baking lots of holiday goodies.  And in the middle of all of this, I keep thinking I really need to update the blog.  I really need to put the recipes up there, I really need to….  the list goes on and on.  So this evening, I thought about it and pulled out the laptop to take care of it.  I’m sorry it’s taking so long.  The cliff notes version of the last couple of months is this:  I ran my first 5k, M decided she wanted to run it (after we got there) so she ran it as well.  (Only she ran it in her jeans and hiking shoes.)  We both finished and I achieved my goals – I finished it and I didn’t come in last.  I’m off of my blood pressure meds and my diabetic meds and I’m down 50 pounds.  The weight is just a bonus – losing the meds was the real victory.  I’ve made it through the holidays without animal products – YIPPEE, but I will confess to having some holiday sweets (vegan of course). 

One of the recipes I’ve been meaning to post is for Dahl.   Dahl is one of those dishes that will never photograph well.  It looks terrible in a picture no matter what you do.  But it’s so good.  I had a bunch of lentils in the cabinet that I needed to do something with and this is what I came up with.  I actually think this is my favorite way to eat green lentils.  Click here for the recipe.  I hope you’ll try it.

So much to do, so little time

No, I haven’t dropped off the planet or disappeared into a crevice.  I’m going to try to do better – promise.  I finally got around to posting one of the recipes we (M and I) came up with.  For some reason, stuffed mushrooms had been rolling around in the empty spaces in my head.  But I knew I didn’t want any type of fake meat in them.  So M and I headed off to the kitchen and came up with our version of stuffed mushrooms.  She likes them so much, I’ve already had to make them again.  She loves them for a meal but they’d make a great appetizer as well. 

Stuffed Mushrooms

“Chicken” and Dumplings

K has been asking for chicken and dumplings for weeks.  She’s really missed having them and since they’re one of the few things she’ll eat, other than fruit, I thought I’d try making them tonight.  I wasn’t sure how they would turn out, I’ve always made them by cooking a whole chicken all day and then using the broth to make the dumplings while I picked chicken.  So I came up with a plan and started cooking.  They were a SUCCESS.  She ate 2 bowls (quite the accomplishment for a 3-year-old) and I didn’t have to pick a greasy chicken!  It was simple, easy, and tasty.  Not something we’ll have very often, the nutritional value isn’t much, but for southern comfort food it was much better for you than the original version.  Serve it with some nice green veggies (rainbow chard with onions is a good choice) or a nice salad.  Click here for the recipe.

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