Photovisi.com, Grape-cubes, Mac & Chreese, etc.

So... I don't like ice cubes from the fridge.  They always carry a scent.  It doesn't matter if you put baking soda in there or not.  I don't care what anyone says.  They smell.  So I'm a snob when it comes to iced drinks at home.  I decided to freeze some grapes that no one was really interested in eating, and use them as ice cubes.  Why not?  It worked awesome.  I used an insulated cup with a lid, and it kept my tea cold and looked interesting at the same time.  I like interesting.  :)  Also decided to eat some more of the vegetable soup from the other night.  That made me remember I took a pic of it the night I strained some of the juice and tore up the ciabatta bread and watched tv with a wicked good snack in hand.  Yeah, I use my daughter's dishes sometimes.  Whatever works.  Also my son wanted some Mac & Chreese penne pasta, so I cooked it and added some Earth Balance buttery spread, nutritional yeast, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher salt and it was good enough I had to eat a bowl of that too.  My daughter was in the mood for some junk food, and seemed almost sold on apple slices with peanut butter, and then was completely sold when I added some frosting - just because.  I realize frosting isn't healthy, but it's a lot healthier than other "junk" foods I used to let her eat when she wanted something like that.  So I'm okay with it. I also am on a pita kick, and I've been filling them with a variety of things or just eating them plain.  The one in the picture I filled with; a boca chicken nugget, broccoli, lettuce, baby carrots, and drizzled with raspberry cabernet dressing.

ALSO! I'm loving the website www.photovisi.com to make quick, easy collages.

Checking in with myself.



Accidental discovery

I'm a HUGE fan of biscuits and gravy.  HUGE.  That's relevant.  I recently got some Pepperidge Farm ciabatta bread, and I don't claim to be able to read labels well - but from what I gathered it was vegan.  I wanted to try one so I took one out and broke off a piece of it and it tasted very southern texas style toast type bread.  The texture was different though, more like a biscuit.  My husband was making vegetable soup, and I dipped the bread into it because my husband just did it and it seemed like a good idea.  I ate it, and it was AMAZING.  It had all the texture that I love from good southern style biscuits and gravy (with the brown gravy, think: thinner, not thick texture) but AMAZING flavor from all the vegetables cooking in the vegan veggie broth.  SO good.  I'm making a note of this because I definitely don't want to forget this accidental discovery.

Try it. Trust me. ;)


Kid Breakfast & Mom's new teapot

My Mom's new cast iron teapot:

For those curious: That's german rock sugar.
It sweetens the tea without distorting the flavors.


Anyone else love Larabars?

I picked up some Archer Farms brand Simply Balanced Strawberry Real Fruit Bars (Target) to try, I wondered how their texture compared to fruit strips/leather.  The texture and flavor made me wonder, so I tried it and it was exactly what I thought it would be.  I tore off chunks of the fruit bar and dipped it in peanut butter before eating it, and it tasted just like a Larabar.  I'm wicked excited about this.



You may notice that I frequently eat similar foods, using bell peppers, onions, garlic, etc.  As a reminder, I wanted to put a few of these up.  They are all taken from the book:


 Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are simply riper versions of green ones, and their longer maturing time increases their overall nutrient content.
 All bell peppers, especially red ones, contain high levels of the antioxidants vitamin C, beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin E, and zinc, so they fight off free radicals and protect against heart disease, strokes, and some cancers.  These same nutrients are vital for a strong immune system and for energy production

Storing and serving: Choose firm, unwrinkled peppers and store in the fridge.  All colors can be eaten raw or cooked and can even be juiced.


 Onions are a good source of many powerful antioxidants, which neutralize the cell-damaging free radicals in the body, helping to reduce the risk of strokes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and the other degenerative diseases of aging.  Chief among these is quercetin, which is plentiful in red onions and protects against heart disease by preventing furred arteries and blood clots from forming.
 The sulfurous compounds in onions -- the ones that cause tears when you slice onions -- when eaten daily will help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and may help protect against asthma and some inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.  These compounds, also found in garlic, are thought to fight cancer and stimulate the liver's own natural detoxification process.

Storing and serving: Onions can be stored for several weeks at room temperature in a dry, well ventilated basket or vegetable rack out of direct sunlight.  Keep scallions in the fridge.


 Nutrient-rich avocados are often shunned because of their high-fat content.  However, much of this fat is the monounsaturated variety and is easily digested, with none of the artery-clogging effects of saturated fat.
 Avocados are rich in the antioxidants vitamins (A, C, and E) that protect cells from the damage inflicted by free radicals and are useful for preventing conditions such as heart disease.  The vitamin E content also means that avocado helps maintain healthy skin and circulation.  Not only does eating avocado provide its own antioxidants, it also improves the absorption of antioxidants from other fruits and vegetables eaten at the same time.

Storing and serving: Most avocados reach the supermarket in an unripened form.  As they ripen, they start to lose important antioxidant nutrients, especially vitamin C, so eat as soon as they are ripe.

Nothing like coming home to good food after a good workout.

I love coming home to this.

Onions, peppers, etc. seasoned with taco seasoning, guacamole, 
and spanish rice make amazing burritos.  I skipped the taco shell and 
wrapped it in a tomato basil tortilla.  So good!!

And the last picture is what my 3 year old daughter had for dinner.


Another night in my life...

Assorted vegetables, oil, and pasta - always a good combination.


I want my kids to eat too...

Boca products & french fries,
chased with a soy pudding 
topped w/Teddy Grahams & a favorite breakfast cereal
is always welcome.

For those curious: I crumbled the cereal to turn it into a powder to sprinkle across the top to give it all the color of sprinkles, or colored sugar - but it's nutritionally better for them.



It was delicious!

I ended up sprinkling some pecans on top, just because.


Tonight's trial run...

Chai Spice Blend


Vanilla Rice Milk

Peach Mango Applesauce

Blueberry Delight Applesauce

Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot


Organic Chocolate Cake Mix


[Pic & review to be inserted soon]

I also threw together a frosting out of:
Tofutti Cream Cheese Spread, Vanilla Rice Milk,
Vanilla Extract and Powdered Sugar.

Happy 2011, I knew it was going to be a good year.

Portabella Mushroom Slices
Sliced Bell Peppers - Orange, Green and Red
Baby Carrots
Green Olives Seasoned with Sicilian Herbs
Diced Apples
Olivia Organic's "Herb Salad" Lettuce Mix
Fresh, Raw Green Beans Snapped Into Bite Size Pieces


Raspberry Cabernet Vinaigrette Dressing




Vegan Fridge

Salad crazy

So I picked up some sweet potatoes this past week.  I don't know why I've never tried to make them before.  I wasn't sure what to even do with them.  I got two of them.  I ended up seeing the two sweet potatoes, and a random fuji apple sitting in the bowl at the end of the week and I decided to bake all three of them while I cleaned the house, and got lunch ready.  I let them bake until they were soft.  I took them out and sliced them up, leaving the skin on the potatoes but I did take it off of the apple - the apple skin seemed questionable in texture at this point.  After I diced them up, I mashed them a little just to give allow for differences in texture.  I then started adding things that seemed like they might taste good with sweet potatoes.  I added agave nectar, earth's best buttery spread, cinnamon, chai spice blend, vanilla extract, vanilla almond milk, and possibly a few other ingredients I can't even remember now.  I mixed it all together, then I tried it.  It was REALLY good!  To make it kid friendly, I cut up some prunes and crumbled some golden grahams on the top and served it.  I definitely will be making it again in the future.

I also was in a mood to try something new with salad, and I have been picking up a variety of salad dressings I would never have considered trying back in the days my Mom tried to push healthy choices. I put different types of lettuce in a bowl, added broccoli, raw green beans, diced red onions, diced prunes, shredded carrots, sliced strawberries, and topped with the mango dressing. 

Right now I am waiting for a cake to finish baking.  I started with a lemon poppyseed cake, then read you can replace eggs with applesauce so I added a peach mango applesauce that I had, I replaced the milk with vanilla almond milk, then I sprinkled chai spice blend, cinnamon, and lemon peel across the top before I put it in the oven to bake.  

And, it's done!

It was YUMMY!

I even found soy whipped topping because my
daughter is a huge whipped cream fan.