What’s for Dinner?

I haven’t forgotten.

Well it’s past 8 and we haven’t eaten yet, but for the sake of preserving WFDW we are having some Beast Burgers.  We just put the baby to bed and the hubby is downstairs in his “office” (aka table in the basement) logging his hours for the day.  Dylan spent about a half hour upstairs with Soy Bean putting him to bed, and I got SO much done.  It’s really amazing what you can do without a one year old attached to you!  I paid two bills, unloaded the dishwasher, RSVP-ed to a baby shower, bought a shower gift, and made a vet appointment for Daisy.  Go me!

Okay back to food…What I love about this meal is Dylan is totally in charge now that he has a grill.  Woohoo!

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Beast Burgers are a little bit pricy, but they are totally worth it and make a nice special treat.  I’m just hoping we have some outdoor weather soon so we can enjoy a meal on our deck.

Where is summer?

 

A Late WFDW…

I okay, so I’ll confess that I thought most of today was Wednesday.

That will happen this time of year!  Tomorrow is my last day of the 2017-2018 school year and I’m so anxious for summer!  I love my job and my seeing friends at work everyday, but I can’t wait to walk out tomorrow and be free.  I’ve been waiting all year to have unlimited Soy Bean time.  Last summer I was so nervous taking him out and plus I was recovering from having him, so this summer I want to soak up.  It’s also going to be the first full summer in our house, and we are excited to do some yard work and enjoy our home.

Well I didn’t document it, but we had burritos from Moe’s last night.  I have a good excuse though.  We had a pretty eventful evening.  One of our cars unexpectedly crapped out on us last week, so we had to buy a new one.  I wasn’t thrilled at first, I mean having just one car payment is pretty sweet, but I love the new car.  I guess I’ll deal with it.

Soy Bean had his 12 month appointment today and he is officially a giant!  Well maybe that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but he’s a big boy.  I’m so grateful that he’s healthy and thriving.  I’m sure Soy Bean was happy too, but maybe not so much after his three shots and blood test.  He’s a tough cookie though.

Alright back to food, so I didn’t take a picture of our dinner last night, but I thought I’d dig through the archives of my phone and find a few foodie ideas (that I could have easily eaten on a Wednesday).

Also, yes, I take pictures of food randomly…my phone is loaded with Soy Bean, Sophie, and food pics.

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First, as you can see is vegan tikka masala from Trader Joe’s.  I can’t tell you how bummed I am that I don’t live 10 minutes away from a TJ’s anymore.  This meal is great when you don’t have time to cook, but you want something satisfying.  When I make this I usually mix in some broccoli as well.  I’ve brought this for lunch at work since it’s microwaveable and I’ve made it for dinner for the hubs and me when we want take out food but don’t want to go out.

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Next is the Beast Burger.  I’ll probably be plugging Beast Burgers a lot since I bought Dylan a grill for Father’s Day.  Beast Burgers are the most amazing veggie burger out there.  What I love about them is they are a pea based protein (I try to limit soy) and they honestly taste and look like a real burger.  Who doesn’t love a burger (and fries)???

So next week is my fist official week of summer.  I’m hoping to fit some blogging in (when SB is sleeping of course).  So far I have SB signed up for swim lessons, but that’s really it for solid plans.  We’re hoping to spend as much time outdoors as we can and have some playdates with friends.

Alright, I’m going to retire for the evening.  One more wake up!

What do vegans eat? Part III

 

Cheese addition!

Avoiding meat?  No problem.

Switching to non dairy milk?  I got this.

No more eggs?  Ok.

Saying no to cheese?  Now that’s what you get me.

I have to admit, I was a wine and cheese gal back in my 20’s.  I loved a good smoked gouda on a cracker.  Giving up cheese was/is the hardest part about transitioning to a vegan diet if you ask me.  I’ve experimented with a lot of cheese alternatives and there have been some hits and misses for sure.  Today I’m going to share with you three of my favorites.

Cheese for pizza:  Pizza is my all time favorite food.  If I had to go without it I don’t know what I would do.  When we’re out, my husband and I will usually order a cheese-less pizza loaded up with veggies, but when we’re home we make our own.  Friday night is our standard pizza night.  I usually make 2-3 pizzas (yes we have leftovers) so I’m pretty much a pro.  For our pizzas we use Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds.  I often find that cheese alternatives tend to not melt as well as their dairy peers, but I do not run into that problem with this brand.  Daiya also offers cheddar and pepperjack shreds as well as blocks of cheese.  Here’s a pizza I made a few weeks ago.  Isn’t it almost too pretty to eat?

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Cheese of bagels (and beyond):  I love a good bagel and cream cheese.  Load that baby up with some scallions…yum.  I’ve tried several brands of vegan cream cheese and Tofuffi is by far the best.  I honestly think it tastes just like the real thing.  We always have a container for it in our fridge.  I use this cream cheese not only for bagels but for Mexican dips, cream cheese frostings, and as an add on to make creamy tomato sauces.  Next time you’re at the grocery store check out Tofuffi’s ice cream bars too.  They’re pretty amazing.

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Well not really a cheese but:  Nutritional yeast is pretty amazing.  It has a nutty taste to it and packs tons of vitamins as well.  I use it as an alternative to parmesan cheese for my pasta dishes and popcorn.  There are also recipes on line that use nutritional yeast to create a nacho cheese sauce as well.  Basically you can put nutritional yeast on anything!

I hope I’ve broadened your horizons as to non dairy alternatives to cheese!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.