Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Negative Calories...the Vegan Way

Last night I made oven fried chicken, potato skins, and plain Jane broccoli for dinner. The 'meat' is supposed to be seitan, but, well, we eat real chicken here. The breading for it was really really good too, it consisted of panko crumbs, some chicken buillion (which I probably didn't need, I think you're supposed to use that if you use a block of tofu in place of meat), some paprika, and some cayenne. And salt, but I'm pretty sure I mismeasured and definitely used too much salt.

The potato skins were good and crunchy because I rubbed them with coconut oil before baking them. However, the kids didn't quite understand the concept of eating potato skins, so they ate all the good stuff out of the middle. That being said, we're having mashed potatoes for dinner tonight, since I have a lot of potato meat left.

Crazy as it seems, everyone ate their broccoli. Even John who has a serious aversion to all things green and healthy. I think he was scarred as a child from eating broccoli smothered with Cheeze Whiz. Something about that combo turned him off, but he WILL eat broccoli on occasion...especially if it's plain.

During the meal, John decided to open a bottle of wine and dump about half a bottle of hot sauce onto his plate, because as he says, "Every little bit helps when you eat this stuff". And then he asked me if the entire meal was costing him even 600 calories. Uhhh...I dunno...how much sour cream did you put on your skins (I did give him and the kids the option of regular sour cream, but I do have Vegan/dairy free for Jack).

In the end, the meal itself wasn't bad. Just very very healthy. I do have to say that honestly I enjoy clean eating. I'm not so very fond of the price tag that comes with it initially, but a few extra dollars at the grocery store now could prevent a hefty bill later if I have a heart attack and need to be hospitalized, right?

That being said, I'm not even going to touch on my husband's comments regarding the "Back to Nature" cookies http://backtonaturefoods.com/default.aspx I bought.

Or the fact that he literally ripped the lid off the packaging and started eating it, telling the kids that cardboard tastes just as good as these cookies.....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Vegan Lasagna With REAL DEAD Cow Meat Gets Rated as "Coulda Been Worse"

Long story short, Thursday I get a call from my dad that went something like this:

Me: "Hello"
Dad:"What the hell! Are you TRYING to kill my grandkids?"
Me: "What? No! Why?"
Dad: "Have you ever actually seen a vegetarian? They look like an ad for death!"
Me: "Well, good thing we're not vegetarians. I am using REAL meat after all".
Dad: "Send the kids over. I'll feed 'em right".

At this point I could only sigh, because John was sitting on the couch laughing and agreeing with my dad. I'm pretty sure there are precious few things they BOTH agree on wholeheartedly, other than my cooking. Dad likes his meat and taters and John just likes his meals to not be so weird. I do have to give my husband props though. He is fun to cook for, because he is like a carp. He'll eat anything. ANYTHING. Especially if he can put hot sauce on it.

That night I was making the Vegan Lasagna, using tofu instead of ricotta cheese. You make your own sauce and everything. And you know what? The sauce was DAMN good. Fresh canned tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic, I like how they taste), an entire onion, the equivalent of 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, a teensy bit of hot sauce and some red wine, among other things. I swear- it was a delish dish. And yet, even with the hot sauce my husband thought it was bland, but we can't help his slight low tone and under reactive taste buds, but I won't go into that.

The lasagna itself wasn't bad. In fact, we had some leftovers, and the entire 9X13 pan has been eaten and presumably digested at this point. Jack ate a few helpings, which made me feel good, because this is definitely something I can make for a family function for him (and others, right dad?) to eat. Nathan thought it was poison, but that is status quo for anything other than chips and candy, and Maddie hates red sauce on anything in general, so John was the real judge, and his honest opinion was, "Coulda Been Worse".

Well then sir, I consider that a 'thumbs UP!!!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On A Sliding Scale of 1-10, The Vegan Breakfast Rates a Minus 12

I was pretty gung ho this morning. I made a Vegan Breakfast Sandwich for the kids, except instead of using meat free meat, I used turkey bacon. I like turkey bacon.

I think if I reprint the actual recipe it's some sort of plagiarizing, so suffice it to say it included frying some tofu blocks in coconut oil, topping it with cheese, and making a McVegan Sammich. The pepperjack rice cheese was actually pretty yummy, and melted well, so that was a plus. The rest of it...well...the kids unanimously voted that they 'didn't like my new chicken'.

John found all my new ingredients, and reading them aloud in utter despair while eating a tofu sandwich topped with fake cheese and real turkey bacon could only sigh, shake his head and wonder aloud (and I quote), "Where have I gone wrong? What did we do to you to deserve this? What? Can I fix it? His allergy isn't even THAT bad. It might even be a made up fake allergy!" I shrugged and told him to get onboard baby, cuz it's vegan lasagna tonight, complete with rice noodles and REAL ground beef. This book has a recipe for using marinated tofu for your 'ricotta' replacement.

I'm crossing my fingers. Crossing....crossing my toes, crossing my eyes this turns out okay, because I can't live on tacos and spaghetti my whole life. I mean, come on.

So wish me a buon apetit! Until tomorrow's adventures in Fake Cheese Land....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cuz I Wanna Be A 'Skinny Bitch'....Sorta

I have bought a new cookbook, which if you know me is no surprise. I'm sort of addicted to cookbooks. This time, the culprit is "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch", from those divine authors of the Skinny Bitch series. You can find more detailed info here: http://www.skinnybitch.net/about.html

Note: If your kid can sound out the title of the book, you may want to hide it so they're not walking around going: Buh Ih Tuh CH....Buh Ih TCH....Buh ITCH....BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH and you have to have a serious sit down chat while secretly being proud of their phonetic progress.

Basically, while the kids were at the Planetarium with the inlaws on Saturday, John and I went to the bookstore. I can't remember what we were looking for, but I do know he pretty much got hives just from entering the store....that many books is a borderline traumatic stress experience for him. But I had fun browsing at least and when I came upon "Bitch" I had to have it. Why?

Weeeellllll.... there are LOADS of dairy/egg/mold free recipes. Okay, ALL recipes are mold free, but you get my point. It's basically a freaky vegan cookbook, but it's worded in such a way that makes the recipes a.) easy to follow and b.) not so weird I want to stop shaving my armpits and live in a peace loving commune. We currently have a rotating menu of about 5 things that Jack can really eat, so I'm always up for new ideas; except I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go all out Vegan...instead of 'fake' meat, I'll be sure to use what they refer to as "dead, rotting, decomposing flesh of carcasses." Sometimes we all need a bleu cheese burger with fried onions on top.....

And thus, so inspired, I went to Whole Foods and spent an exorbitant amount of money on items like: tamari sauce, polenta (in powder form), chickpea flower, firm and flimsy tofu (okay, it's not really called flimsy tofu, but still), whole wheat pastry flour, evaporated cane sugar, nutritional yeast flakes, rice syrup, and a buttload of coconut oil. They were all out of the Ener-G egg replacements that I needed. How dare they.

I will be sure to keep my eager audience aware of our Veganese progress. Or our Wanna be Veganese progress. Or even my own Wanna-Be Bitch progress....wait...too late on that one.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

When Fraggles Do Antibiotics

Looong story short. Maddie gets cold. Cold gets worse. Snot changes colors. Cough sounds like chest rattling. Doc gives drugs. We hit the local CVS to fill script aaaand....

(BTW, doesn't Maddie sort of resemble that Fraggle with the Piggie Tails?)

The pharamcist calls me over and politely says, "Excuse me ma'am. But this dosage of medicine is really, really low for someone her age. What is she being treated for?"

"Well, something bronchial-ish". I was not sure how to answer. I really really liked the PA we saw today and didn't want to have a pharmacist rain on my PA parade.

And then I had a brainstorm! " Oh! But I forgot! When they put her on the scale with all her clothes on she was just about almost 30 pounds."

At which point the pharmacist looked over at Maddie waiting by the all powerful and ever entertaining blood pressure cuff (do people with blood pressure issues EVER use those, or are they just totally abused by kids waiting for their drugs?) and then she said, "Oh yes. I see. She IS a bit skinny for someone her age."

Usually at this point I feel obligated to retort "She eats! I swear!" But I let it go. The PA gave her the right dosage for her weight, not age and so I'm fine with the world. Especially since they seem to be working.

And now onto Nate's icky croupy sounding cough....I though little ones outgrew croup???

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm only a month behind on this post. So sorry. I cann't seem to keep up with daily life these days, much less all the little extras. As it is, I am missing out on my tea party with Mads right now just to start some laundry and type. Sigh.

So, here we are Christmas morning. This is Maddie in her new castle. She still looks half asleep, but she seems to like the castle when the boys aren't waging epic battles inside using their new GI Joes and army guy schtuff. Thanks Oma and Opa by the way, who found it necessary to give the boys army guy sets that come complete with plastic barbed wire reels so that the army guys can crawl through them WWI in France style. Okay, That's kind of cool.... This is Jack, very excited about some Bakugan thing. I have NO idea what this stuff is. I just know boys his age like it. For whatever reason.

Nate got a gift card to Walmart on Christmas Eve. Because he could spend it on whatever he wanted, I'm pretty sure this gift basically trumped them all. Nothing says Merry Christmas like getting shot by a cowboy.

About 30 photos before we actually left to go to my inlaws...and not one winner. See what I mean:

Okay, Jack looks a little dorky and what is with the face Mads is pulling?

2 with eyes closed, one grimacing. Nope. Not a winner.

One with eyes closed, and one doing some funky dance thing. Jack looks cute though.

And those are the best ones. Sigh.
Well, Merry New Year everyone!

Monday, January 04, 2010

And We All Shine On!

Today is day 3 of our first official shiner for Nate. As you can see, the swelling is down, but the bruising is really starting to show. I think the fact that it looks worse means it's getting better, right?
I keep telling him I want to take a picture of his 'black eye'. Then he wants to know how his eyes turned black, and I have to tell him they're not really black, they are bruised. The bruising is across the bridge of his nose on both sides.

His preschool teacher today kept an extra special eye on him and said he was fine all day, which is great. He's bouncing around and acting like normal, despite every effort I've made to keep him relatively sedate throughout the day. Apparently the learning curve hasn't totally kicked in, since he almost fell off our stools at the island and was caught climbing up the back of the couch and then I caught him STANDING ON THE BED playing with his blankets.
If I ever start getting gray hairs he is the reason why. Just you remember that.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

This is What it Looks Like

When you fall off your bed and pick a fight with the open dresser drawer. We don't think the nose is broken, but as you can see his eye is a little swollen.
And I'm really glad he just has that small cut on his eyelid. This could have been a lot worse.

When his nose was bleeding it bled out the right nostril, instead of the cut on the left side. Once again, this incident proves to me that Nate does not have a guardian angel. He happens to have a TEAM of them. My mantra of 2010.....It could have been worse.....it could have been worse....it could have been worse.....