Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!

As many of you are already cooking your feast, some of you may be looking for inspiration.  If you are a new vegan as I am, you may be a little overwhelmed with the prospect of redoing all the recipes you've known for years.  Or maybe your visiting family and a little nervous about what you'll encounter today, how you'll answer questions, what you'll eat.  After a lot of stressing and going back and forth about what to do, I decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner one day early, enjoying vegan versions of all the favorites, that way today when we visit family, we've already satisfied the craving for the classics and wont be tempted to eat the non-vegan versions.  I did consider bringing individual serving sizes of our side dishes but thought that might seem kinda rude so I will be bringing a hearty green salad for everyone, cranberries, and decided to also bring some vegan brownies.

The Whole Feast
We both really enjoyed our meal last night!  It was our first time trying Tofurky.  For me, it was just all right.  But, it's no big deal because I was never really a big turkey eater anyway.  I like the side dishes more.  Our lineup included: Tofurky with gravy, roasted butternut squash, bread and celery stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and cranberries.
Tofurky and Butternut Squash
I followed the recipe on the side of the Tofurky box for the roast, excluding the potatoes since I was making mashed potatoes.  It turned out pretty well, Hubby liked it.  For the stuffing, I used Earth Balance buttery spread and vegetable stock instead of the butter and chicken stock and a bag of premade stuffing croutons.  It was sooooo good and soooo easy!  For the green bean casserole, I used almond milk because I didn't have any unsweetened soy milk and also used canned green beans.  It was delicious and tasted very close to the original green bean casserole.  Hubby actually had some for breakfast this morning!  (ewww)  By the way, he is a Thanksgiving food beast and I can't believe he actually enjoyed all the vegan versions but really, they tasted great!  For the butternut squash, I just substituted Earth Balance for butter.  Hubby actually ate some even though he doesn't like butternut squash.  The mashed potato recipe is my own and follows.
Green Bean Casserole and Stuffing

Green Onion Mashed Potatoes
5-6 Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream
1/4 cup Silk nondairy creamer
Salt and pepper to taste
3 stalkes green onion, sliced
Cover potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until fork-tender.  Drain and return to pot.  Mash.  Add sour cream and creamer, salt, pepper and mix well.  Gently stir in green onions and serve!  Serves 4-6.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my family including my beautiful baby daughter, my faith as well as my health and new outlook on what I eat.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, however you choose to celebrate it!

Many Thanks!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Risotto Musings and Thanksgiving Plans

I love risotto.
I do not love making risotto.
I guess I'll have to give risotto up because most restaurant risotto is made with either cheese or chicken stock.
Boo hoo.

Let's go back in time and find out why I'm so blue.
On Sunday, I blogged about what we ate through lunchtime (creamy asparagus soup).  I went grocery shopping after lunch and got some yummy stuff.  Fresh asparagus.  I used to hate asparagus until I tried it properly cooked and really liked it!  Anyway, I have decided to really buckle down on my little cheats here and there.  No more vegetarian but not vegan chik'n.  No more pizza with real cheese :(  I just shed a few tears.
So I only bought vegan Bocca burgers.  And lots of beans and vegetables.  And pita bread for said beans and vegetables.
I got home and we didn't have time to cook and eat before going back to church.  (We play on the music team and had to go back for the night service.)  When we got home, I had planned to make some mushroom spinach risotto from this recipe.
I had a bunch of mushrooms and a little fresh spinach leftover from last weeks shopping that needed to be used.  So I followed the recipe, but guess what?  It took like twice as long to prepare.  And it's not one of those recipes where you just let it sit.  If you look at the recipe, it stresses: you need to be constantly stirring the rice.  This is not a good recipe for a mom of a 7 month old baby.  Anyway, the risotto was finally done and we ate it, but it wasn't my favorite.  We had some yummy herb focaccia bread dipped in oil and vinegar, and to be honest, I could have just eaten that but I knew I needed the nutrients from the veggies so I ate about half of my plate.  Hubby ate the leftovers for breakfast (yuck) on Monday.

So that's why I will not be cooking risotto again.

On a sidenote, I took pictures of Monday's dinner to post but have been having technical difficulties so I'll just tell you about it.
I had toast with Earth Balance and raspberry jam for breakfast with coffee.  For lunch, we took a friend out to a favorite place that we hadn't eaten at since veganism.  An Irish pub.  Hubby had fish and chips (not vegan but we do eat fish, but he kinda takes that liberally)  I had the only close to vegan option that I saw besides a side salad.  It was a portobello mushroom sandwich on sourdough, with cranberry sauce (the jelly kind and I didn't think of this until now, but it probably has gelatin in it!  Not vegan), red onion, tomato, and jalapeno cream cheese.  I did break my own rule, though, because of the cream cheese.  Anyway, it was a weird combination but I thought it might work.  Ehhhhhh...not really.  I ate my side salad and a few of hubby's fries and about half of the sandwich.  Needless to say, I was hungryish when we left.  We went to the hospital to visit a family member and I totally blew my own mind in a bad way by eating every possible junk food option from the vending machine.  **Deep Breath** (I'm embarrassed to admit this.)  Mr. Pibb, Rollos, and BBQ potato chips.  I'm kinda thinking I should have just gotten the fish and chips for the higher chance that I would have been full.  Oh well.  You live and learn.
We didn't leave the hospital until about 5:00 and still had to go to Trader Joes for the Tofurkey.  Our local grocery stores didn't have it.  We got home around 6:00/6:30 and I had purchased some Trader Joes Chicken-less Pulled Chicken in BBQ Sauce (vegan) and I heated that up with some Honey-Wheat hamburger buns and a big baby greens salad.  The chicken was a little chewy in texture, but on a sandwich and smothered in sauce, you can't really tell a whole lot of difference.  My only wish was that it didn't have BBQ sauce already on it so that we could use our Kinder's BBQ sauce.

We did get our Tofurkey for Thanksgiving so we'll see how that goes!  Looking forward to some different but still familiar comfort-food dishes.

These are some websites I've saved for recipes and ideas for the holidays:
Vegan Holiday Faux Turkeys
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
More Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
Mini Honey Almond Cranberry Crostatas (obviously only vegan for those vegans who eat honey)
Dealing with Meat-Eating Friends and Family
Whole Foods offers a prepared Vegan meal if you're near one!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving dishes?  Are you offering any vegan options?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chilly weather calls for hot soup!

Been a crazy week so forgive my lack of posts.  I've been lazy and have felt it physically!  I was at work and a seminar last week.  The venue provided lunch, for which I requested a vegetarian meal, thinking asking for vegan would be too much.  I got some really good vegetarian meal but I found that the chef felt like substituting cheese (and lots of it) for meat.  The first day, I had a creamy tomato pasta with a few small chunks of asparagus and kalamata olives.  It was really good but I craved more veggies.  Thesecond day, I got ricotta cheese filled ravioli with a cream sauce.  Again no veggies except for the salad that started both meals out.  Next time, I will just ask for a plate with just the side veggies.  The meat plates had yummy looking carrots and green beans.
So, because I was so busy, I've been making lots of concessions in the dairy department and I could see next week easily turning out the same with Thanksgiving but I really need to get back on track because I've been feelin' the effects and it's not good.
So, this morning I had steel cut oats with brown sugar and dried cranberries.  I had coffee and we were out of nondairy creamer at home so I had it with **GASP** half and half!  Did I mention being a little lenient with dairy?  Yeah.
Got home from church and it was so cold that Hubbs asked for soup for lunch.  I had absolutely nothing planned, but I needed to use my asparagus before it went bad.  So I came up with the following recipe.  I hope you enjoy it!!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 head celery, coarsely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into pieces
1 carton vegetable stock
2-3 tbsp Follow Your Heart buttery spread
4 tbsp Tofutti sour cream
6 small cloves garlic, pressed or minced
generous amounts of salt and pepper
Toasted pine nuts for garnish (toast on a baking sheet at 350 for a few minutes)

Serves 4

Saute celery and onion in a large pot in the butter spread over med-high heat until soft.  Add garlic and asparagus.  Saute until asparagus is tender but still bright green.  Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.  Add some stock if needed.  Meanwhile heat stock in pot and add sour cream.  Whisk until well blended.  Add back veggies and mix to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with pine nuts on top.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

4 weeks baby!

Today marks 4 weeks that I have been eating (striving for) a vegan diet. There have been some bumps along the road. I drank two sodas last week. Even though that really has nothing to do with veganism, but if I was just doing this to do it I guess it wouldn't matter. But because my whole purpose is to attain better overall health, sodas are out (regular or diet). Anyway, I can safely say, 4 weeks are up, which was my original commitment, but I've proven to myself that I can do this...and I want to do this! I now know that I won't shrivel up and die without meat or dairy. And I don't even crave meat. My biggest craving has been cheese! Which has been hard to give up and did I mention the bumps on the road?? Yeah those were mostly cheese-bumps.
I'm getting more accustomed to preparing vegan meals that don't feel like a few side dishes thrown together. Tonight, I made homemade hummus for the first time and also some homemade pita chips. That with a big fat Greek salad was dinner. It was so fresh and yummy! And I didn't even miss the feta cheese on my salad.
I'm happy to report also that I've lost 4 lbs. Which isn't a rapid weightloss by any means but gradual is good. And I'm not in any way counting calories or working out (ahem my next goal)! I've never lost weight without severe counting and deprivation of some sort.
I'm getting better at passing up those treats with eggs or dairy in them. Today, there was a big tin of those sugar-sprinkled butter cookies, but I declined and ate my nut, seed, and dried fruit mix instead. It was sweet and satisfying. Oh did I mention, the sodas weren't that good to me anymore! I still crave soda but the same ones I used to drink like water are just aight for me now. P.S. I actually drink water like water now. Go figure. And none of that crystal light or any other drink mix either.
So, yeah, you could say I'm proud of myself. I've stuck to it but I know that if I don't allow myself grace here and there that will be impossible in the long run. I do feel healthier and happier.
If you are on this journey with me in any way, I'd love to hear how you're doing!!
Good luck and good eats!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time Schmange

So the last couple of days have been difficult.
1. Apparently my baby doesn't care about daylight savings time and that she's still supposed to wake up at 6:30 NOT 5:30.  AND she doesn't care that I'm sick and I need to rest a little bit.  NO!  She wants to wake me up at 5:19 am to be exact and squeel with delight, ever fading into frustration, until I get her out of her crib.  What kind of MONSTER am I raising here???
2. Veganism is not easy for on the fly meals.  I'm getting better, but you really have to plan meals out, which is something I don't do well when I'm sick and tired, literally.  It's also not so good for snacking.  It used to be that as a new mom, I would often forget to eat lunch, or not forget but simply not be able to put the baby down long enough to eat.  By the time 3:00 rolls around and I'm shaking because I'm hungry, I'd used to go rummaging through the fridge until I settled on a string cheese usually, which would tide me over until I could make something substantial.  The other day, I went through that same scenario, but found nothing.  Yeah I could eat some carrot sticks, but when you're that hungry, you want something that you feel will fill you up.  I finally ate the last of the pistachios and made lunch.

So the last few days have gone like this.

Sunday, we woke up at 5:19 am as mentioned.  My hubby took the babe after a while and let me sleep.  Aww how sweet!  I was planning to make Coconut Banana French toast but I just wasn't feelin' it so I made a different breakfast from the Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.  Behold the Breakfast Bake.

What??? That doesn't look like real cheese, you say?  That's because it's not real cheese and trust on this one, from someone who likes cheese A LOT, it doesn't taste like real cheese either.  It's Follow Your Heart vegan cheddar cheese but it tastes more like "processed cheese food".  Actually it tastes exactly like the cheese spread you get with cheese and crackers.  Anyway, This was an otherwise good breakfast and I will make it again without the cheese.  It included onions, potatoes, mushrooms, soy sausage, and garlic!  Yum!  I ended up eating about half of my portion, giving the rest to Derek, and making myself some toast.
That was brunch.
For dinner, I quickly pulled some stuff together.  I put 3 breaded chik'n patties (Morningstar farms italian herb) on my Pampered chef medium stoneware baker, lined up down the middle.  Then I sliced up a potato, a yellow squash, and a zucchini ratatouille style and threw them in a ziploc with some canola oil, and some pampered chef seasonings and shook it like a Polaroid picture.  I scattered those around the chik'n and baked it according to the chik'n package directions.  I think it was 375 for 15 minutes or so.  It was really good!  It's good to have those meals in your head that you can pull out in a pinch.  Also, side note: You may remember that I ate this same chik'n a few days ago on a sandwich and it was hard as a rock because I microwaved it.  This time I baked it and it came out amazing.  So the lesson here is, when a package says "recommended method of cooking", use that method.

We went out after dinner and on the way home, got Starbucks.  Hubby didn't realize until we were ordering that he couldn't have his usual latte so he got a soy latte, which he said wasn't as creamy as usual but was better than regular coffee.  Since it's fall, I enjoyed my favorite fall beverage, caramel apple cider.  (I'll have to check the ingredients in the caramel later and next time ask for no whipped cream).

On Monday, hubby and I had a day together with the little turd-dropper as he calls her.  We woke up at the crack of dawn with her and had an agenda: go to Guitar Center and Marshalls.  We both were ready to go very early but we didn't eat breakfast before we headed out the door and we were out of caffeinated coffee.  OH NO!  So we went through the Jack in the Box drive through.  I got an orange juice, he got a coffee and we both got a 5 piece hashbrown bag.  I don't know what they fry in so I'll have to look into it but it was fine to tide us over till lunch.
We had a gift certificate for our favorite Greek place, Papapavlos, so we went there for lunch.  Baby sat in a high chair for the first time, or should I say slumped in her high chair because she fell asleep almost immediately when we got there.  It did make for a stress free lunch for us though!  Hubbs had the special which was Blackened Salmon atop a Greek salad which he asked to be prepared without the feta.  I'm so proud of him!  I cheated with a Mediterranean Pizza that had veggies but lots of cheese.  I told you I'm a cheese fiend!  We also had loads of pita bread dipped in oil and vinegar and a mushroom appetizer.  It was so good and so nice to have a day out together.  Because the little munchkin was asleep, it was almost like a date!
For dinner, we were both tired and I'm still feeling under the weather so I didn't plan anything to cook.  We had some soup I got from Raley's.  Creamy Broccoli and vegetable (I think that's what is was called), but I do know that the creaminess did not come from cream, I think it must've come from potatoes.  It was really good.  I also made a large salad for each of us with baby greens, cucumber, tomato, salt, pepper and oil and vinegar.  I toasted 2 pita breads in the toaster and cut them into wedges.  I have to say now, that I don't like whole wheat pita bread!  Hubby liked it but I found it cardboard-y.  Yuck.

Yesterday, Hubby had to go back to work.  For breakfast I had 2 pieces of whole wheat toast, with almond butter and cinnamon sugar.  I felt a little better about this meal than the toast with margarine and cinnamon sugar.  It did hold me over for a little longer too.  Also, of course, my beloved coffee.  It has never been so useful or so needed until after I had this little baby here.
By the time I was ready to make lunch, I was really hungry and I threw together a big chik'n taco.  I cooked a chik'n patty in the oven.  Meanwhile, cut up half a tomato, one stalk of green onion, half of an avocado, and put it all with some baby greens down the center of burrito sized tortilla.  By that time, the chik'n was done so I cut it into little chunks and added that to the tortilla.  I wanted some kind of sauce and I had recently bought Toffuti Sour Cream.  This is the first time I used this and it is really more of a cream cheese consistency.  I mixed that with some Pace salsa and poured it over the ingredients.  It was yummy!  Since I keep my tortillas in the freezer to keep them from going bad, the tortilla kinda fell apart when I tried to roll it up so I ended up eating it with a fork but it was still satisfying.  Another yummy on the fly recipe in my bag, Check!

Hubby had to go to band practice so I was ridin' solo again last night.  I didn't want soup again so I made Super Stuffed Mushrooms, which I made up.  Here is what I did.

2 portobello mushroom caps, ribs removed, stems removed and set aside
1 zucchini, chopped into a small dice
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbls oil of choice
1 tbls Follow Your Heart vegan butter spread
4 tbls seasoned breadcrumbs
2-4 tbls Follow Your Heart mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 c pine nuts
Seasonings of choice.  I used Pampered chef Italian mix, sundried tomato rub, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to broil.
In a small saute pan, heat oil and butter.  Add onion and garlic and saute for a minute.  Add zucchini and saute until almost soft.  Add seasoning, pine nuts and chop mushrooms stems and add.  Saute for 1-2 minutes.  Place mushroom caps upside down on a baking sheet.  Pour mixture into caps.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and follow with cheese.  Broil about 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and cheese is melted. 

This was really good and I made it up!  I will probably make it again with rice or something.  Hubby had the leftovers when he got home and really liked it too!

I hope you enjoy the recipe!  Please let me know if you try it!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm ridin' solo

So I'm still sick but hoping that since it's the 3rd day, today is the worst and tomorrow I'm going to feel better!
I had cinnamon toast (wheat bread, toasted, with earth balance spread and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top) for breakfast with coffee and half a banana.  The other half went to the baby.
For lunch, I made a delicious portobello burger with fresh, juicy tomato and mixed greens!  But, bummer, it was the last hamburger bun leftover from my birthday bbq so I'm gonna have to find something else to eat for lunch from now on.
For dinner, Derek was helping a friend and ate with them, so I was ridin' solo for dinner.  (well I did have a little misfit baby in the kitchen with me)  So I made a few of my favorite things:
Sweet potato fries The only change I made was I used canola oil since it was going to be cooking at such a high temperature.  Don't mind the burnt one in the picture.  I didn't eat it.
Couscous topped with the tomato sauce from this recipe (which is one of my favorites!)
and spinach salad with dried cherries and crannberries.

MMM it was so good!  But I made way too much couscous (even though it was the recommended serving size), so I'll have the rest for leftovers tomorrow (actually as I was typing this, Derek asked if there was any left...he's heating it up now)

The moral of this story is you can still have a delish meal even if you're by yourself (or by yourself with a baby spitting smashed sweet potatoes at you).

The end.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Well let me see if I can remember

So I'm sick...and it really stinks.  Cold or flu I can never remember the difference...and when I'm sick I'm not a normal sick person, in that I probably eat way more than I normally would.  What does that tell ya about using food as a comfort mechanism?  Well, at least I've identified my demon!

Anyhoo, yesterday I made a smoothie but mixed it up a bit.  I steamed some apples in the microwave for the babe and mixed them with some blueberries and banana in the blender.  Gave her some and then added my remaining ingredients: spinach, tofu yogurt and soy milk.  Hint:  If you're going to do this, steam the apples in advance because a luke warm smoothie is pretty gross, no matter how sweet the ingredients are.  So I put it in the freezer for a few and then added a few ice cubes to make it tolerable.
For lunch, I had made the day before a recipe from Skinny bitch everyday called Curry Tofu Egg-Less Salad.  I've never really made anything with a curry flavor before but it definitely smelled like Indian food.  BUT I've found that extra firm tofu really does have the consistency of hard-boiled eggs so it's a perfect stand in!  It was sweet and spicy and we had it in pita breads.  It called for currants, which I couldn't find so I used dates.  I don't know at all what currants taste like, so who knows!  The recipe could have a completely different flavor with currants.  I also had some leftover potatoes.
For dinner, and as I said I was sick so forgive me for this one, we had a veggie pizza...with cheese!  Oh my gosh, though! That cheese was good!  I thought about caving for soda but I held my ground so you have to commend me on that one!  Soda is NOT an easy habit to kick!

OH!  I forgot to tell you about Wednesday!  Yeah, I could edit, but now you get to see how my brain works.  Wednesday, I made the usual shake for breakfast.  For lunch, Derek had the leftover pasta from the night before and I had some pasta I made with leftover pizza sauce.  (brown rice pasta)  I added some VEGAN mozzarella cheese that I grated and it said "it melts" on the package but it didn't melt in the hot pasta sauce.  Oh well.  I also had the leftover bruschetta and bread.  For dinner, I made a black bean and tomato soup from the Skinny Bitch Everyday cookbook.  In the recipe it said it would be great for lunch or for dinner with a salad or vegan burger.  So I made the soup, vegan burgers and oven fingerling potato fries.  OK that was WAY too much food!  We have a lot of soup leftover but I'm sick so it's good to have leftovers when you don't feel like cooking.

For today:
I did not have a shake, even though, of all days, when you feel sick is when you really need the nutrients of fresh fruits and veggies but you know how that goes.  When I'm sick I feel I can do whatever I want because I want to make myself feel better.  So I had coffee in the morning and by the time Baby was fed, it was time for lunch and I had leftover pizza.  So good but I'm glad it's gone now so I can stop eating cheese :( or :) I'm not sure.  Derek had band practice tonight and we're on a strict budget now so I made a quick dinner of salmon, sauteed zucchini and yellow squash and some mushroom couscous so he didn't have to get fast food on the way.  It was good and it was all done in like literally 15 minutes! I couldn't believe I could throw together a meal so quickly.  I hadn't planned this particular meal for today but a much more complicated one was slated for yesterday.  We were actually supposed to bring dinner to a friend who just had a baby so I was going to make them salmon (since they're meat eaters) and the rest of the meal.  Took the salmon out of the freezer to thaw on Tuesday and Wednesday night I was starting to feel sick.  So I called to say I'd be bringing them pizza and that's where the story started.  So now I have another salmon in the fridge that we have to eat even though we only planned to eat fish once a week.  BUT I just read that salmon is in the group of fish with the lowest mercury content so I feel OK about eating it.

Wow!  This is about the longest, most rambling blog ever!  But that's my life and my brain right now.  Build a bridge and get over it!  Haha! just kidding.  I used to say that in high school.

Signing off!
Kalley - The recovering cheese eater and soda drinker

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And vegan spaghetti to boot!

Yesterday was a good day.  I finished watching "Food, Inc." and also watched "Food Matters".  Both films motivated me to continue on this path and "Food Matters", in particular, to continue seeking more information on natural eating and to continue taking my vitamins!  Both films are on instant Netflix and I think everyone should watch them!!
So, Raley's had berries 2 for $3 so I got 2 packages of raspberries.  In the morning I had my usual coffee and after that, a smoothie made from soy yogurt, soy milk, raspberries, blueberries, spinach and a banana.  Soooo goooood!  P.s. I tried the soy yogurt (plain) and it's nasty by itself.  I won't be eating that as a snack!
For lunch, I had prepared an Applebee's-ish oriental chicken salad for Derek and I using Morningstar Farms chik'n nuggets, chow mein noodles and baby greens for him, spinach for me.  I looked up a recipe online for a similar dressing and swapped out the regular mayo for veganaise.  It tasted just like Applebee's!  The chik'n nuggets were way better than the chik'n patty I had the other day.  They seriously tasted exactly like regular chicken nuggets and if I didn't open the package myself, I wouldn't have known they didn't contain meat!
For dinner, I made Spaghetti with spinach and white wine sauce.  A tip if you don't drink much wine but want to use it for cooking;  Buy the mini bottle four pack and then when you use it, the rest wont go bad.  I also sliced up a french baguette and drizzled it with Pampered Chef garlic infused canola oil and baked it to crisp it up and served it with tomato bruschetta.  The bruschetta was made with fresh tomatoes, crushed garlic, chopped kalamata olives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a little salt and pepper and pampered chef parmesan garlic dipping seasoning to taste.

Tonight, I'm using another recipe from the book to make black bean and tomato soup.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2 weeks and feelin' fine!

Today marks 2 weeks that I have been on a vegan-ish diet!  I thought it would be harder and, truthfully, I didn't think I'd last.  I committed (to myself) to try it for 30 days.  I think this was me testing the waters and preparing myself for when I would decide to quit.  It's like dieters who say, "I'm just gonna try it for a week and see how it goes."  It's such a major change but I think all the ammo I'm armed with (from the books I'm reading) makes it a little easier for me to make good choices when faced with temptation (ahem, drunken weenies, ahem).  But seriously, there have been many times I've thought of getting a milkshake or a burger but I didn't.  OK, That's my introspection for the day :)  A little delve into my inner self.  haha

So anyway, here's what we did for the last two days.

Sunday October 31 (Halloween in case ya didn't know)
I sang at church today and didn't eat breakfast before I left home, thinking I would get some oatmeal in the Loft.  Well, going with the way my life usually goes, they didn't have oatmeal.  They had chicken tortilla soup or pastries.  I made the best choice I could: a blueberry muffin (it probably had egg in it, yeah, yeah) and orange juice.  After church, we went to Subway for lunch (we should buy stock there after all the times we have been and probably will be eating there).  We got the usual veggie delights without cheese and with avocado.  Yum!  I love this sandwich!  We had some "original vegan" Boca burgers for dinner.  Mine with raw red onions, avocado, greens, veganaise and mustard.  Derek had his with sauteed red onions, veganaise and mustard. 
Oh yeah and how could I forget the pounds of halloween candy? (exaggeration)

Monday November 1
Man!  I can't believe it's already November!
For breakfast, we tried some Morningstar Farms sausage patties.  These are not vegan but vegetarian and were tasty!  We had them on little hamburger buns like a breakfast sandwich.  I wish I could figure out how to make fake eggs for these!  I'm pretty sure the Ener-G egg replacement is only for baking.  I think there are recipes to make tofu like eggs but I haven't tried yet.
For lunch, I had a Morningstar Farms Italian chik'n sandwich (also not a vegan product).  I realize this is not the best choice...I would have liked to have more fresh ingredients but oh well.  I cooked it in the microwave and I don't know what happened but the edges got SO HARD!  I seriously thought my teeth were going to break.  But they didn't and I still ate it.  Also, I was so excited to use my roasted red peppers to top this sammy but something happened to my fridge (it's acting weird) and the olive oil hardened so I threw them out.  Boo :(
I took Eisley with me to run a bunch of errands culminating with me at Raley's in their natural foods section and her in the Baby Bjorn enjoying all the "oohs" and "aahs" she receives everywhere we go.  I never shop at Raley's and if you've ever shopped at a new grocery store, you know how long that takes.  I had a recipe planned for lentil sloppy joes for dinner but didn't finish at the store in time.  So, we had Subway.  Now you see why I said we should own stock!
I LOVE Raley's natural foods section!  They have everything (almost) that I needed.  Only a few things I couldn't find: currants (substituted with dates), kale (ehh last time I tried to feed Derek kale, it didn't go over well, maybe I'll sub spinach), tempeh and seitan (soy products that replace meat in recipes).  I'm putting in a call today to the natural foods "lady" to ask about that.  So excited to try out all our new food to see what we like!  I bought some Tahini to make hummus and I was going to use my roasted red peppers for that but, I guess I'll have to buy some.
Anyhoo, thanks for reading!  Eat some veggies!