Monday, January 31, 2011

What’s up?


Here’s what I have been up to. On Saturday, we went and tried a new food cart out. Delicious.


I got the chickpea sandwich with a side of chickpea fries that I begrudgingly shared with my husband.

We explored a kind of new neighborhood.

photo (1)

And ate a delicious cookie and read the paper.

photo (2)

Sunday was an adventure! After church we headed out on my long weekend run. It’s a stepdown week, so I was just supposed to do 11 miles. We wanted to go check out a vintage road bike that we found on craigslist, so I ran 8 miles to the ladies house. We really liked to bike and decided to impulse buy and get it.


It need’s some work, but it’s perfectly fine to ride right now. It’s really, really heavy though. Eric tells me back in the day, they used to make really light steel frames but then load them up with heavy steel components. The rear fender/rack/tire rims are what’s weighing this beauty down. I love it though and am very excited to be able to keep up with Eric now on bike rides!


Oh yeah, on the way to get the bike, I sat on some huge shoes. We found the Adidas company head quarts and they have these big shoes out front.


Today has been filled with lot’s of odds and ends. I started our taxes…ugh and I made the yummiest hummus ever.

Sweet Potato Hummus

  • 1 large sweet potato baked or microwaved with the skin removed
  • 2 C cooked chickpeas or about a 15 oz can. (buy chickpeas in bulk, soak them for 4-8 hours and then boil them until soft. It will save you a TON of money)
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1-2 Tsp Siracha. Or any hot sauce.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water-about 3/4 C.

Throw everything into a food processor and pulse baby pulse. Add water as needed. I like semi thick hummus so I added about 3/4c but you could always add less.

I had a hard time not eating all of this. I am addicted to sweet potato’s and this was a delicious way to get them into my mouth incorporate them into more dishes.

Thing’s I will do with this hummus.

  • Spread for a veggie sandwich
  • Dump a Tbsp or two on a salad
  • Dip for veggies
  • Toast for breakfast. Yes, I might be crazy
  • You could even coat some pasta with this

I’ll try to get a photo of this hummus tomorrow when I have daylight! But for now, go make this. You won’t regret it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seitan-is it for you?

No, no. Not Satan. Seitan. What the heck is it? Wickipedia says this:

Wheat gluten, also called seitan (pronounced /ˈseɪtæn/), wheat meat, Mock Duck, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from the gluten of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flourdough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

Wheat gluten is an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy and/or stringy texture more like that of meat than most other substitutes.

Interested? As much as I love tofu, and seriously...I LOVE tofu, Eric and I wanted to try some new recipes using seitan. We can buy it in the stores here, but it's expensive and after looking in our new cookbooks we realized how easy it was to make. Of course we waited to make it till the day we needed it, which means I had to make it alone. But seeing as how I am currently unemployed...I have nothing else to do but play in the kitchen. Side note, can I tell you how many dishes I do a day?? Never appreciated a dishwasher until now. Heck, never appreciated a full size sink until now.

But that's beside the point. I decided to make two batches of seitan because we needed one for the bbq we were having for dinner, and another for leftover lunches this week. I am not going to put down the actual recipes since they are not mine.

Honestly though, I think everyone needs to own a couple vegan cookbooks. Even if your not vegan, they have so many wonderful veggie recipes. It will open your mind to meal planning. And who doesn't need more veggies in their life??

Side tracked again. Back to the seitan making. For the cutlets that I was making to have later in the week, I decided to go with the Chickpea recipe. (btw, cutlet is a weird word. I might be grossed out by it.)

This recipe is from Veganomicon btw. (you can get it on amazon for $12.50...I'm just saying...)

And here is what makes these recipes possible.
Eric and I first discovered wheat gluten flour when we were making our amazing lentil burgers. It has changed my life. And no, I'm not being dramatic. (ok, maybe a little.)
Oil goes into some chickpeas.
And you mash. If your lucky, you have a potato masher which I am quickly discovering is not just for potatoes. Why did I give everything of mine away when we moved? A fork will work just fine...but at this point I was wondering why I even pay for a gym? I should just mash chickpeas for an hour and be all set.
In goes the flour, bread crumbs, paprika, thyme, water and braggs liquid amino acids. (soy sauce)
Mix mix mix. Bonus points if your hand looks like a claw. That's hot.
So this is what happens. See the thick strands forming? It starts to become 'tough'.

Then because my camera crapped out, you get a iphone photo of the final thing. Please don't judge them based on the photo. It makes them look worse than they are in real life.

You separate into as many cutlets (yup, gross word) as you want and you can fry them or bake them. I am baking ours.

Here are some ideas that I have that I am going to use these in:
  • Sandwiches. A lil vegan mayo, avocado, tomato and spinach. Yum.
  • Stir fry. Slice these up and throw them in with a veggie stir fry.
  • Salad. These would be a great way to boost up a salad. Give it a little more 'staying' power.
  • Breakfast. If I made these with a little liquid smoke mixed in, I could totally see these being a bacon substitute. Served on an english muffin with some daiya cheese and a veggie scramble on top.
Last thing. These do not taste like meat. They will never taste like meat. I don't want them to taste that way. So don't set yourself up for something and then get disappointed. I know there are companies out there that make a seitan product taste pretty darn close to chicken or beef. However as that is not my intention...mine do not taste like it.

In fact, these are really delicious. Definitely something that will be on the rotating menu list!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I just made this.
Minus the mix-ins.
Make your own nut butter. Easiest thing you will ever make. Not to mention how much money it will save you.

You can thank me later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Food I am loving & our CSA

It's weird but ever since I decided to go Vegan, my taste buds have changed A LOT. I am now loving on foods that I recently hated. Examples enclude...

  • Bananas. I used to absolutely hate bananas. With a passion. Now I eat at least one a day. more like two. And I am loving them with a little bit of peanut butter smeared on the side. yumm.
  • Brussels sprouts. I think it was the way I used to cook them, but I always thought they were really gross. With kind of a burnt/sour taste. I have tried a couple different recipes and I have been won over! I love these little green guys.
  • Lentils. Seriously. You just have to get creative. Although I do like them plain with a little salt...there are TONS of recipes out there.
  • Sweet Potatoes. I think I always used to link sweet potatoes with the gross casserole that always made an appearance around the holidays, but I have changed my thinking because I would eat a sweet potato everyday if I could. I love to just slice them and throw them in the oven with a little coconut oil and then smother them in ketchup when they are sufficiently roasted.
  • Beans. All kinds. Except baked. Ask my mom, she will tell you I HATED beans growing up. And I still do loathe baked beans. But I am loving on every other kind. I love them in soup, salads, burgers you name it, I would probably eat it.
I am also finding I no longer crave certain foods. I can easily go without cheese, milk, yogurt even. Which is huge for me because before the switch I was eating yogurt almost every day.

On a slightly different note-

Eric and I are looking into getting a CSA from Ground works Organics Farm and I am really excited! I love going to the farmers market but sometimes it can be overwhelming with all the choices and all the different farms. The good thing about a CSA is you get whats in season right now at their farm. No thinking, no planning, you just go pick up your weekly box.

A 25 week long CSA is going to cost us $540. It seems like a big chunk of money but when you break it down it's only $21 and some change every week. I emailed the lady who runs the CSA and asked if it was enough produce for a family of two vegan/vegetarians and she said it easily was.

Anyways, I'm excited about it. Spring get here already! =o) Happy Hump Day!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Not much going on here lately. Job searching like its my job. haha...

I'm really getting tired of applying to places and then going in to meet and greet and hearing that the position is already filled. Please, if you have filled a position, take it off your website. I'm just saying. It's very frustrating and I have already experienced it 4 times this week.

In other news. Eric has finally joined the masses.

Yes he is now a proud (or not so proud) member of LA Fitness. I have been going for the past couple of months and just recently started to do more strength training and I'm really starting to notice a difference. I'm hoping we can get Eric there as well.

Also, I have been going to yoga about three times a week, and now Eric is coming with me and it's really great. A nice way to spend our evenings.

I also just bought this thing...

It's a foam roller. My hamstrings/calves/hips have been so very sore since I started my training plan and I could go to the gym and use their foam roller, but having to go there after every run is stupid, so for $15 bucks, I bought my own. Excited to use it tonight. That and soaking in the hot tub at the gym are my preparations for tomorrows 14 miler. Yikes.

In other news. I just ate about half the batch of this cookie dough.
Nothing like not having a job to increase the boredom eating. ARGH.

And finally. Look at this forecast.
Sorry its so small, but besides the rain...hello warm temps!! It's currently 55 out. I love it. Although now I remember why I like running in the winter. Sweat city.

I guess that's all. Oh, I miss my family. The End.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I will tell you one thing. Living car-less really makes your appreciate your home. After walking around the city all day, all I wanted to do was go home and relax. While my husband did this...
I did this...

I love banana bread. I really love it actually. And I decided tonight I needed some in my life pronto. I used this recipe as a starting point and branched out a little.

Banana bread ala Meg.


  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 cup peanut flour
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I love cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed
Mix banana and wet ingredients. Separately mix dry. Add together until just incorporated. Bake at 350 until done inside! Side note. This is a pretty heavy bread. Delicious but not your 'typical' banana bread.

Holy Yum .

I know it doesn't look that good in the photo. But it was delicious.

It also doesn't hurt to chase it down with some of this beauty.

Last of the season. =o( Oh well, enjoy it while it lasts!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I have been told I think to much. I guess its all the free time I have, or just my crazy brain that will not stop spinning. But I am finding myself thinking a lot lately about hoping I'm not missing out on life.

I'm not talking about things like, going out to eat, or trying a new beer (although those are good things). I'm more talking about experiences and adventures. It's no secret that I do not like things to get boring. I enjoy change and the scariness that comes with the unknown. Yeah, sometimes it stresses me my current job search-but other times it is so exciting!

One of the reasons I was o.k. with moving to Portland was because it was new and different and far away from MI. People told us we were stupid/crazy/brave? to just pack up our car and move. I thought it was going to be a huge adventure that we would conquer together.

Thing is, now that we are here, and it's been 4+ months. I'm ready for the next adventure. No, we have not discovered all that Portland has to offer. And I know that. There is so much stuff here that we need to do. Without having a car, we are very limited as to how far we can get out of the city. I think that's the main problem. We can't get to places to hike, or climb, or ski, or snowshoe without renting a car which is a big expense. That is something we are discussing constantly it seems like.

First major question-Is buying a car and paying for everything that comes with it worth it so we can be more active in our adventures?

Lately I seem to be reading all these stories of people who are constant travelers. Or have the opportunity to take a 3 week vacation to Thailand or Europe or New Zealand. I'm trying hard not to become a green monster.

I tried (unsuccessfully) last night to convince Eric that we should just buy an old van or rv and travel the world discovering new places. He lovingly pointed out the obvious setbacks of my plan. Money being the biggest one.

Here's my struggle. How do we balance working in the corporate culture that only gives you two or three if your very lucky, weeks off a year for vacation time, and the constant desire to travel?

Working retail I know 99.9% of the time that I will have to work both Saturday and Sunday. That's a give-in. Which leaves my days off during the week when Eric is working. This is a very frustrating thought for me.

Second major question-How important is money to me/us? Is me working full time so we can grow our bank account worth not having any time off together?

Third major question(s)-How do I please my constant desire to pack up everything and move around? Do you know how much world there is to see? All these amazing things to do and see and do you know how many people actually go see them?

Yes, maybe I think to much. But is it so bad to always want to do more?

Monday, January 3, 2011


How was your first two days of the New Year? I welcomed 2011 with a 12 mile run.
Every time I run a new farthest distance, I think to myself...maybe I really can run a marathon. =o)

Tomorrow I hit the job search and CLEAN this apartment. It needs some serious loving.