Father’s Day and Birthdays

It’s a pretty exciting day around here…

  1. I have a half day of school left.
  2. The hubby has 2.5 days of school left.
  3. Father’s Day is tomorrow
  4. It’s the dog’s birthday today!

Sophie turned 9 today.  She’s my first dog and my husband tells me my last.  She’s incredibility annoying but doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.  She’s a sweet and awkward girl.

We celebrated Sophie this morning by making her a tofu “cake” with peanut butter which are her two favorite people foods (she’s a vegan too!).  She received some treats and toys as well.


Later we all went on a sea glass hunt together and found some awesome pieces.


I experimented with making scallion pancakes.  We received so many scallions in our farm share this week!  I love scallions but there’s only so many opportunities to use them.  If you have any other ideas please let me know!  Scallions are one of my favorites and my husband always requests scallions pancakes when we order out.  I figured why not give it a shot myself!  When I have the recipe perfected I will certainly upload it on here.


Now I’m getting ready to make a early Father’s Day dinner.  It’s pretty over the top.  Stay tuned…


What do vegans eat? Part II

Welcome to cookout season.

When you think of a cookout what do you picture?  I imagine most people would probably visualize hotdogs, burgers, sausages, ribs and so on.  The average American cookout most likely isn’t super vegan friendly.  Fortunately there are some amazing meatless options out there you can arm yourself with when attending such an outing.


Here are some of my favorites that I think are just as good as the real deal (and healthier too!)

Sausages- You know the smell of when you walk outside of Fenway (sub any local baseball stadium) after a game?  That smell is heaven, or in earthly terms sausage, peppers, and onions.  It’s a magical combination of flavor that is far from vegetarian friendly.  But never fear, I have found a substitute that tastes just a good as the real deal and pairs amazingly with peppers and onions.


Tofurky makes an awesome sausage (among other things).  It’s super versatile as well.  I have used it in tomato sauce, sliced it on pizza and so on.  I honestly believe you could trick a meat eater with this sausage.  Add some pepper and onions to these babies and throw them on your favorite roll and you have a perfect cookout meal that no one will dare to tease you about.

Hotdogs- Let’s admit it.  Hotdogs with meat are pretty gross.  I mean do people really know what’s in them?  When I was first a vegetarian way back in high school there were very limited vegetarian options.  Tofu hotdogs were one of them.  I tried and tried to like them, but honestly they tasted like the smell of old library books.  I don’t know how that’s possible.


Anyways, vegan hotdogs have come a long way.  Smart Dogs are delicious and they take the air of mystery out of eating a hotdog.  They are probably our family favorite of all the vegan cookout options.


Burgers Veggie burgers are nothing new, but let me introduce you to the latest and greatest veggie burger I have tried.

I know I’ve said this before, but believe me, Beast Burgers taste so much like a real hamburger.  If you haven’t tried Beyond Meat’s products you need to check them out.  They make vegan meat alternatives made with pea protein instead of soy.  My husband absolutely loves these burgers.  I have only seen the Beast Burgers only at Whole Food and they are a little pricey therefore they are a special treat for us.  I have only cooked them in a pan and I’m dying to try them on the grill this summer!


So see, you don’t have to go hungry at a cookout if you want to avoid meat!  Enjoy!


What do vegans eat? Part I

What do vegans eat?

I get asked this question a lot.  How do we feed a family (including our dog) food that doesn’t include any animal products?  It’s so much easier than you might think.

I could go on and on about veggie alternatives but today I’ll just focus on three.  I have a husband and child with a sweet tooth so I tend to do a little bit more baking these days.  Of course when you bake you’re going to require a bit of milk, butter and eggs…or so you think.  Thankfully, there are some easy vegan alternatives out there for these.

Milk- There seems to be a million nondairy milk alternatives out there these days.  I’ve tried soy, cashew, flax and so on.  My favorite by far is unsweetened almond milk.  It’s soy free, gluten free, and lactose free and honestly I think it tastes a bit like real milk.  Unsweetened almond milk packs only 40 calories per serving as well.  I find that unsweetened almond milk is a great milk alternative for baking and cooking.  Beware of unsweetened vanilla almond milk though.  While it might taste great in a cereal or in your latte the underlying vanilla flavor can take away from your baking or cooking.  I once tried to make a vegan quiche with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and the result was not so great.  They also make vanilla and chocolate versions as well.

Butter- Let’s face it, vegan or not “butter” is never going to be great for you.  As I’ve said before, vegan doesn’t always mean healthier.  Butter is the perfect example.  In our house we use Earth Balance butter.  They sell it at most grocery stores including Trader Joe’s.  I’ve also seen it at Target as well.   Earth Balance makes their butter in tub and stick form. It melts and spreads just like real butter.  I use it in place of butter in recipes and have never had any issues.  It’s great on a piece of toast with some nutritional yeast as well!

IMG_1392Eggs- Eggs take on many different roles, today I am talking about eggs as a binder for baking.  There are so many different egg substitutes out there. You can use canned pumpkin, apple sauce, bananas and so on.  My favorite, however, is the flax egg.  Flax egg is super simple and effective as well. I once ate a pecan pie (which calls for a ton of eggs and I ate a piece not the whole pie to clarify) that was made with six flax eggs.  I could not taste the difference at all.  All a flax egg is one table spoon of flax seed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill) and 3 table spoons of water mix together.  That is it!  I have used this for brownies, cakes, cornbread and so on.

So see that wasn’t so scary right?  As a teacher, I see so many kids with allergies or dietary sensitivities to dairy and eggs.  It’s so promising to see companies create these products so we can all indulge.  Stay tuned for my next What Do Vegans Eat?  cookout addition.

Tofu Piccata

You’ll probably realize after reading this blog that just because food is vegan doesn’t mean it’s always healthier for you.  This recipe will prove just that.

I started writing this post and I was getting into my history with capers, which I realized is pretty boring to everyone, including myself.  I’ll skip the background and just get into the dish.  I made this meal about a week ago and it was husband and child approved.  I used noodles made with squash in a feeble attempt to make this dish a little healthier.  Here’s what I did…


  • 1 block extra firm tofu (pressed)
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1.5 cups of flour (rough estimate, you’ll need enough for dredging)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup rinsed capers (we love capers, you might want to use 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegan pasta of your choice or veggie noodles (most store bought boxed pasta is vegan, but double check just in case, some pasta contains egg)

The first thing you want to do is press your tofu to remove the extra water.  I have a tofu press (because I’m that cool) but if you don’t what you can do is wrap it in a towel and place something heavy on top, like a tea kettle with some water in it.  I pressed mine for about 30 minutes.  I cut the tofu into slabs, about 1/2 inch thick to resemble chicken breast.  You could use a vegan chicken alternative as well.

Next you’re going to take your tofu slabs (sounds appealing doesn’t it?) and dredge them in the flour.  Shake off any extra flour.  This is the point when the five year old decided to “help” me.  If you have children you know why help is in quotations.  Also, apparently flour is delicious by itself…  Anyways, we survived and so did the tofu.

Next, in the skillet over medium heat I melted 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once I heard a sizzle, I added my tofu to the skillet.  I honestly don’t know how long I cooked each side for, but I flipped them until both sides were browned and honestly they looked a lot like chicken breast.  This is also where I added in my garlic as well.  I love garlic, but feel free to leave it out. I then removed the tofu from the skillet.

Next I added my veggie stock, capers and lemon juice and whisked them together.  I then whisked in the remaining butter and about two tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce.  I poured my sauce over the tofu and noodles and dug in.

I don’t want to brag, but this was pretty awesome.  I hope if you give it a try, you’ll like it as much as we did!  Oh and as you can see I added peas to ours as well…never hurts to sneak a veggie in right?


How we met…

Ok, so this isn’t food related, but I thought I had to share.  I love a good “how we met” story, and I absolutely love ours…plus my husband kinda is the original  impressionable vegan so it’s totally relevant…

30 was approaching for me, I was single and completely happy being single.  Not too interested in dating and happily spent many Saturday nights on the couch watching Star Trek on Netflix and eating takeout.  I was working on my career and spending lots of time with friends, completely happy.

So I talk to my mom one day on the phone.  She had gone to an intuitive for her birthday.  This reading was supposed to be about her but apparently my energy was coming in strong (who would have thought that?).  Anyways, she said the intuitive told her a few things about me that were pretty spot on, as to my career and dating situation.  The woman told my mom that that would all change for me.  She said I would have a so called “dud” and then the next person I dated would be my “marriage partner.” She also said this would happen relatively quickly.

So of course I was skeptical.  There was no way very single me was getting hitched anytime soon.  I had more pairs of yoga pants than dates I had been on in the last four years.  Well let’s just say there was a dud…and then on Father’s Day I get a text from my mom…

I’ll mention that my mom has been going to the same hairdresser since she was pregnant with me.  She was there the day before and was talking to a very nice woman who she has gotten her hair done with before.  Well she had a son, a single son…and my mom wanted me to look him up on Facebook.

Well future hubs beat me to the punch (for the first and last time ever).  Apparently he had had the same conversation with his mom.  We talked for about two weeks planning a date. We were both wrapping up the end of the school year and I was going away with a girlfriend to New York so there was a delay.  When I came back, we went on a date June 27, 2014. He coughed the whole time.  Engaged Feburary 17, 2015 and married July 25, 2015 (all with no coughing!)

I guess the intuitive was not kidding about the quickness of it all.  I’m very lucky.  He has made me very happy (most of the time!) since.