Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Word About Honey

   Hello All,

   I'd like to share my thoughts on honey with you.  I know I mentioned that I used it while I was sick to try and speed up my healing, but I didn't feel good about it (chalk it up to a guilty conscience).  First off, most vegans do not consume honey as it's not vegan.  So, I thought I'd explain a bit in this post.  Before you jump to any conclusions or assumptions, I'd also like to say first that I did not receive any rude or questioning emails from readers wondering why I was consuming honey.  On the contrary, I have the best readers who only leave lovely comments and send super kind emails.  That being said, I wouldn't mind if someone had questioned me about it.  I welcome all kinds of questions as long as they are coming from a good place.  In fact, earlier this week my brother sent me a message with some "constructive criticism" for my blog.  I mean, it had to do with the fact that my nail polish was not perfect in one of my posts (thanks, bro) but I appreciated it all the same.  Next time, I hope to get a message saying that I've inspired him to eat less meat... now that would be amazing!

   I'm writing this post to shine some light (for those that are curious) as to why most vegans don't eat honey.  Actually, it's more about why I don't eat or like to use honey, as I can't really speak for others.  You should know though, that there is no hard and fast rule about honey.  While vegans do share a common view on core issues, opinions vary when it comes to honey and other seemingly subtle issues.  Read on...

   As you may know, I became a vegan for compassionate reasons, not health reasons.  So I take the term and meaning of veganism very seriously.  The term Vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson and is defined as follows:  The word "veganism"denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose...  So, with that quote in mind, and with what I know of the production of honey (which isn't much, I'll be honest) I don't feel good about using it.

   What led me to use it in the first place was desperation.  I really, really, REALLY wanted to stop coughing!  My well meaning co-workers offered me daily tips of remedies to try.  I actually really love that about them because they understand how much I loathe the thought of using any kind of medication.  The one thing they all kept saying to me was honey.  I would always politely thank them but at the same time let them know that I wasn't interested in using that as a remedy.  They always came at me with great reasons why I shouldn't feel guilty and some comical ones as well.  Since I already had a jar of raw honey in the cupboard that I had purchased several months prior (for a completely different reason) I figured I'd pull it out and give it a try.  I must have forgotten that the reason the honey was shoved way back in my cupboard in the first place was because I didn't feel comfortable using it then, either.  FYI, the honey was helpful when I drank it in a hot water and lemon mixture - not when taken on it's own by spoonful.  Just a little tip if you are a honey eating vegan.  Like I said, I stopped after a couple of days because I didn't feel good about it. 

   Here's a little info about what may happen to the bees during honey production.... 

  • Smoke may be used to pacify bees
  • Bees are fed artificial diets (what???)
  • Queen bees are often killed by the beekeepers
  • Bees may be crushed in the hives when the honey is harvested

   Despite popular belief that the bees want to be there and could leave whenever is simply not true.  Beekeepers abuse the bees by using their natural instincts and work them to death essentially. 

   At the end of the day, it's stealing.  Just as we steal a mother's milk from a baby calf when we buy and drink cow's milk; we are stealing food from the bees when we buy and eat honey.  After traveling over 50,000 miles and visiting nearly two million flowers, bees gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.  Honey is stored in the hives for food to be eaten in the winter.  Except, the bees don't get to eat it because we get it.  So the beekeepers feed them sugar water instead.  How nutritious.

One last thing:  Do you know how honey is actually made?  The bees swallow nectar, regurgitate it, chew, swallow, and repeat.  So basically, honey is just a fancy word for Bee Puke. Yum!

     This post may also be my round about way of saying that I found the most effective cold remedy to be swishing with Oil of Oregano.  Give it a try the next time you find yourself reaching for the honey at the health food store.  The bees will thank you. ;)

Ves xx

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIAW # 14

   Hello party people!
Have I mentioned how much I love Wednesdays?  Well I do!  And since I missed last weeks WIAW post (boo to being sick) I owe you guys a post!

Let's get on with the eats, shall we...

 {Breakfast to go: Green Smoothie}
 {Lunch: Spinach and Kale salad with lots of veggies, lemon and Dijon dressing}
{Snack: another Green Smoothie}
 {Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup with salad and super yummy seed bread.}
 {Dessert: Coffee and Vegan Chocolate Cake... YUM!}

 {Hot Water with Lemon and Honey}
 {Lot's of water!}
 {Coconut water!  Staying hydrated while I'm under the weather.}

     Starting Monday I'll be posting for the Vegan MoFo all month long so stay tuned for those posts.  And I think I have a semi-theme or weekly theme worked out but I'll iron out the details before Monday.  I'm so excited to participate in this.

   And in case you forgot... I mentioned on my last WIAW that one of my goals was to arrive to work on time (or early).   Guess what?  Today I actually had time to spare when I arrived to work!  WOOHOO  I guess that sick day yesterday gave me that extra little boost that I needed?  Whatever the reason, I hope it lasts.  Ha.

Have an amazing Wednesday everyone!
Ves xx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maybe All I Need is a Spoon Full of Sugar... or is it Honey?

   Hello all!
   I am writing this post while currently home sick from work (it finally got the best of me) on one of the most gorgeous Fall days I have seen in a while.  The sun is shining, there's a warm breeze, and I have all of my windows open letting that lovely air whisk away any germs that may be lingering in my apartment.

   Remember how I mentioned in my last post that I've been dealing with some annoying health issues?  Well, here's the lowdown of what's been going on with me and how I've been trying to heal myself naturally while also desperately seeking some help/advice from my Family Doc.  Oh, in case you are wondering, the latter was very ineffective.

  About a month ago I went to the doctors because my ear was clogged up.  I figured it was just build up and needed to be drained which, I tried doing myself without any success (Damn!  I was really counting on my mad skills for this one!).  Unfortunately, at this time, the only doctor available was the on-call doctor, or shall I say the most evil person on the planet.  What should have been a gentle experience was excruciatingly painful and left me feeling completely wiped and very shaky.  What a jerk.  Oops, sorry (but not really).  Anyway, after he "cleaned" out the ear he found an infection by my eardrum.  My initial reaction was bullsh*t!  I figured he probably irritated my ear beyond repair and he's calling it an infection.  I have never had an ear infection before - not even when I was a child.  He writes me a prescription for ear drops and sends me on my way.  I curse him up and down in my head and then leave the building.

   Even though I am feeling thoroughly violated by my experience, I am so thrilled that I can finally hear again!  I hate going to the doctor's so I have been dealing with a clogged ear and loss of hearing in my left ear for two weeks.  I use the drops as soon as I get home and guess what?  They immediately clog up my ear!  No joke.  I cannot hear out of my left ear and it feels like something is swishing around in there.  Stupid doctor!

   I make an appointment to see my doctor, and because I am so good at making people feel sorry for me, (ha) I get in right away.  I retell my story to her and because them doctor's need to stick together, I get no real sympathy from her.  Plus, I think she really wants to scold me for not coming to see her instead.  She doesn't though, and I think it's because she figures I've suffered enough.  Anyway, it turns out that he's prescribed the wrong thing for my ear.  His drops would be more suitable for someone with swimmers ear.  What a knob.  She prescribes me an antibiotic which I fill and take willingly because I just want to be able to hear again.  After a few days my ear seems to unclog and I have my hearing back.  But I still have popping and swishing going on in there and I have no idea if that's normal.

   Meanwhile, I've developed this insane straight-from-the-chest cough and it hurts!  It's almost like a smokers cough without the smoking.  Back to the doctors I go to have it checked out.  My doctor is not impressed with how it sounds and prescribes me a second round of antibiotics.  Yikes!  She also checks my ear and says she doesn't like the looks of it and is hopeful that this round of antibiotics will help it (I should have run screaming at this point).  She sends me on my way but says that I have to come back if the pills don't help.  Guess what?  Five days later I'm back at the doctors!  This time I'm sent for x-rays and given a prescription for two different kinds of puffers.  Because I am desperate, I take the puffers for a few days but notice that I am just getting worse so I stop taking them.  I have a follow up appointment with her the following Friday so I step up my own "home remedies", which I'll talk about later.  When I see her she says that I sound much better then the first time but that she can still hear some congestion in my lungs.  She's not sure what it is and figures that it must be some sort of super virus and a 100 day cough.  She's happy that my x-rays were clear and that I don't have pneumonia.  She also mentioned that she really didn't think that the puffers were going to help me but that she wanted to try, just in case.  By the way, I'm fuming a little bit at this point.

   After we're done discussing the cough, we move on to my poor ear.  She takes a look and says she is really not happy with how it looks and is thinking of referring me to an Ear Nose and Throat doctor.  Yes please!  I didn't even let her finish her sentence.  Then she sits down and says that she stills sees an infection and would like to try me on one more antibiotic.  Are you kidding me!? Then she taps her foot and wonders aloud which one should she prescribe.  No joke.  I was so disappointed with her but at the same time I couldn't fault her because that's all she knows.  In case you are wondering, I never did fill that last prescription.  I had poisoned my body enough already.

   By the way, if you're still with me at this point YOU ARE AMAZING.  I apologize for taking so long to get to the point.  I feel like I've been through a lot with two health issues that should have been cured with the snap of a finger.  It's so frustrating to not know what the problem is and what's causing it but, it's even more frustrating to see how easy it is for the doctor to just write a prescription.  Each time I went to the doctors she was with me for less than 15 minutes.  How much could she get out of that?  And what if I didn't have a health plan and had to pay out of pocket?  How much would all of those prescriptions cost me?  Was it really necessary to prescribe three different antibiotics and two puffers?  Oh, and let's not forget the ear drops.  At the end of the day, I'm still coughing and my ear is no better.  Score 1 for the pharmaceutical companies and 0 for me so far.

   Anyway, here are some of the things that I have been doing to help strengthen my immune system while also trying to rid my body of whatever germs are hanging around in there.

Raw Organic Honey - I eat a spoonful first thing in the morning and then add it to a cup of hot water and lemon.

Hot water with lemon (and a pinch of cayenne pepper)

Oil of Oregano - it's kinda gross but I swish with it a couple of times a day.  I noticed a difference as soon as I started to use it.

Zinc and Vitamin C lozenges - I tried to eat these like candy but they taste kind of gross as well, so I only take them when I remember. 

Raw Garlic - I am adding this to everything... but only after work!  Ha.

Soup - It's so warming and comforting.  I've been making raw green soups as well as hot thick soups.

Whole foods - especially raw veggies and lots of greens

Green Juice - I've been stepping up the green juices to rid my body of whatever toxins are lingering from all of the drugs I took!

Thanks for reading and if you have any remedies that you'd like to share I'd be happy to hear them!
Have a happy and HEALTHY day!

Ves xx

Monday, September 24, 2012

Should I Be Blushing?

   Hi Friends!

   First of all, let me start by apologizing for the silence around here.  I've been in a bit of a funk lately and not really feeling like doing much.  Anytime I think about my blog and start writing something, my mind goes blank.  I've started so many posts and have finished none of them.  This is bad news, especially when I have made a promise to myself to participate in the Vegan MOFO next month... which means blogging daily... about food... with recipes... and possibly a theme!  Sheesh.  Talk about pressure!  However, in my defense, I've been dealing with a few health issues (nothing serious) and it's definitely taken a toll on my attitude.  I'll talk more about that in another post though, because right now I really want to share with you what I did this weekend. 

   As you can tell by the title of this post, I'm wondering if I should feel awkward about doing so?  The thing is, I really don't feel the least bit odd about sharing this.  It seems so normal to me and I'm super psyched to have done it, and to do it again (soon!).  Not psyched like I'm going to see my favorite band in concert, but psyched in the sense that I'm taking my health up a notch.  Want to know what it is?  Well, keep reading then!  Ha.

   This weekend I had my colon cleansed (aka: a colonic) at a Colon Hydrotherapy clinic.  Ever heard of this?  Are you curious?  I definitely was!  This has been on my list of things to try for a while now and I'm so glad that I finally had the opportunity.  There are so may benefits to this that I highly recommend you guys give it a try.  I'll outline some benefits below and why you should seriously consider it.

Looks similar to the one that I used... minus the ocean in the background!

    First of all, why should we even consider cleansing our colon?  Well, let's just say that the diet of us North American's is pretty much full of crap (no pun intended).  Our diets are full of refined and processed foods, as well as high amounts of caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and fats.  Unless you eat super clean, and have done so all your life, chew your food really well, AND live in a bubble (i.e., not the city), your colon could use some cleansing.

The Benefits...

Improves circulation, flushes the toxins and cleanses the kidneys as well as the colon.

In addition to aiding in...

Weight Loss
Constipation Relief
Increased Energy
Enhanced Immunity
Improved digestion function
Glowing skin and clear eyes

You can get more information about Colon Hydrotherapy here and also check out the clinic that I went to.

   So... How was my experience, you wonder?  It was amazing!  Well, about as amazing as a colonic can get.  Ha.  But to be honest, it was better than I expected.  I was definitely nervous going in and a little unsure of what to expect.  The colon therapist made me feel very comfortable, relaxed and at ease right from the start.  This was a bonus because I didn't realize that he would have to be in the room with me at times to see what's coming out of me.  Yikes!  And, oh crap.  Literally!  I was always aware of my bashful bladder (I have a hard time peeing in public restrooms - by the way, I don't consider that Too Much Information, especially since I've been talking about colon cleansing!) but I had no idea that I had a bashful colon as well.  Turns out I do!  Ha.  But in the end, I was able to experience all of the benefits, despite my terrible shyness.

   How did I feel?  Afterwards, I felt great.  I wasn't tired or uncomfortable or in any kind of pain.  In fact, after I left the clinic, I went shopping.  I didn't really eat though - no breakfast, just water, and I didn't really feel like lunch.  I ended up having a smoothie later in the afternoon.  It felt good to put something in my body, but it also felt strange.  I felt that way later in the evening, too, when I tried to eat my dinner - a salad and a steamed sweet potato.  In fact, it's been a couple of days since my cleanse and I still feel weird eating.  I don't know if that's just me personally or if others feel the same way?  I should let you know though, that when I go and get my teeth cleaned I wait as long as possible before I eat.  I think it's a "me" thing.

   One more thing about this cleanse.  Even though this is a type of detox, I didn't feel the usual symptoms that I would during any other kind of detox process.  Typically I get headaches (usually only on the first day), I might feel a bit light headed, irritable and most definitely EMOTIONAL.  We all have different side effects when we detox and for me, I am always extra sensitive.  When I quit smoking (yes, I used to smoke) I would randomly burst into tears.  This usually happened when I was out walking my dog and I would wonder if anyone could tell that I was crying.  The neighbors probably thought I was a nut job.  After I switched to a vegan diet I went through a similar phase of feeling super emotional for no reason.  The same is true when I would cleanse through juicing.  So anyway, after my colonic I was expecting to feel a bit emotional, but it never happened.  I found this to be odd but I didn't actually notice until the end of the day.  I was thinking about a lot of different things, feeling a bit let down and, as I mentioned above, dealing with some annoying health issues.  So, if ever there was a time to be emotional, this would be it.  But, nope.  Nothing.  Nada.  Totally fine.  And, I was able to see the bright side to all the little things that have been nagging me.  YAY for the clarity that I got from the colon cleanse! Who knew?

I hope you guys consider having a colonic.  You'll be glad you did - I promise!

Happy Monday!

Ves xx

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIAW # 13 OR My Lucky Number!

   Hello party people!
   It's the middle of the week and you know what that means.  You guessed it - another installment of What I Ate Wednesday!  I've grown to love these WIAW posts because I get to post pictures of food but also, because I get to ogle food pics from other blogs.  Let's face it, who doesn't like to look at yummy food? 

So let's get on with it, shall we?

First thing - As always, I start my morning off with some room temp water, a squirt of lemon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Next - a cup of coffee.  I love my coffee.  It holds a special place in my heart and I hope that I never have to stop drinking it. 

Breakfast - It's been a little bit chilly in the mornings so I felt like something a bit more warming then my usual breakfast.  I whipped up some oat bran with cinnamon, raw cacao powder and bananas.  

Late morning snackage - carrot sticks and dijon mustard.  This never gets old - I love dipping my veggies in mustard.  And because I do it so often, I've even inspired some of the kids at work to start doing it, too!  Hey, it's better than ranch dip so who am I to deny them?

Lunch - Always a salad and no, in case you are wondering, I never get sick of them!  This one has spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and a sprinkling of nori.  The dressing is simple: Lemon, nutritional yeast and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Dinner - Garden Burger with tomato and avocado on a bed of kale salad.

Early evening snackage - this is probably my second or third peach of the season.  I haven't come across too many organic peaches so when I saw these at my health store I snatched up a couple.  This peach was super soft (in a good way) and super sweet.  Definitely worth the wait!

Sweet tooth snackage - I made these peanut butter cookies over the weekend because I was having some visitors.  I put the rest in the freezer for the occasional sweet tooth and pulled a couple out to have with my tea.  It totally hit the spot.

   And since this month we are talking about our goals and falling into good habits, I figure that I should share that I am vowing to be more punctual.  This mostly pertains to work (and I really hope that my 'higher ups' do not read my blog... fingers crossed) because even though I rush in the morning to make sure that I get myself ready and get everything done in time - I never seem to get out of the house any earlier!  In fact, I find that whenever I have time to spare, I usually give myself another task because I feel like it's "free time".  And thus, I end up being late or arriving with seconds to spare.  Ugh!  Well, from now on, not only will I be on time, but I will arrive to work EARLY (I hope).  I can do this!  Wish me luck!  Actually, I might not need it as this is my 13th WIAW post and like I said in the title, thirteen is my lucky number.  I think that's all the luck I'll need.  But you can still cheer me on if you'd like! ;)

Have a great Wednesday and remember, it's only two more days until the weekend (yes, I'm counting down)!

Ves xx

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Garden Burgers!

   Hello All!

   I'm so excited to share this recipe with you because I think it's super yummy.  Even though summer is coming to an end, I have not had my fill of veggie burgers and I hope you haven't either.  I can't really call these veggie burgers though, (even though they are full of veggies) because when I think of 'veggie burgers' I think of non-meat burgers filled with beans and veggies and bread crumbs to simulate a meat-burger.  These burgers don't have any beans/legumes in them but they do have some yummy goodness and lots of flavor!
   I used quinoa in these burgers because it's high in protein, gluten-free and I just really like it.  Ha!   I also used Kamut flour (say it like this: ka-moot) in this recipe - mostly because I had it lying around and really wanted to experiment with it.  (In hindsight, I probably should have Googled some ideas but it's way more fun and satisfying to experiment!)  Kamut is an ancient whole grain made from the durum wheat family.  It's high in protein and selenium, plus, it can be tolerated by people with wheat sensitivities.  However, if you have an intolerance to gluten then this is not for you as Kamut does contain gluten.

On to the recipe...

Garden Burgers
Makes about 9 patties


  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups of spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder (not pictured)
  •  1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste 
  • 2 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional, not pictured)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup Kamut flour
  • 2 Tbs raw coconut oil 
  • zest and juice of one lemon (optional)
In a saucepan add the quinoa and water (or veg broth) and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Let it sit for five minutes and then fluff it with a fork.  Set aside to cool down.
Saute garlic in a little bit of coconut oil until gently cooked, then add onions, and stir until the onions become soft and translucent. Add the celery and carrots and cook gently for a few minutes, then add the spinach.  Stir in the cumin and other seasonings.
Add the cooked quinoa and stir well. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
Turn off the heat and add the Kamut flour to the mixture. Stir well until everything starts to “bind” together and the mixture cools.
I added the zest of one lemon as well as the juice right at the end when I was combining the mixture.  I think it gives this an added 'zip'.

Form the cooled mixture with your hands into patties on a plate, about 3-4 inches in diameter.
Heat pan to *medium/medium low heat, and add the coconut oil.
Cook each pattie for 2-3 minutes on both sides until firm and browned.

*My stove gets really hot really quickly so I had mine at a lower temp so that it could brown a bit on the outside but still cook through on the inside.


Ves xx

Monday, September 10, 2012

Come On Get Happy!

   Hi Friends!
   If you're singing along while thinking about the Partridge Family then you probably already have a smile on your face!  But, if you read the title of this post and have no idea what I am talking about, then I have some other ways to help boost your mood.

Read on...

Here's a little breakdown of some of my faves:

First, it's a grab and go kind of snack and that alone makes me happy!  Second, the B vitamins help to boost our mood which is perfect for that time of the month (you know what I mean, Moody Judy's!).

Leafy Greens:
Not only are they energy boosters but, leafy greens also contain folate.  And since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it can help to improve our mood and as a bonus to keep us alert, focused and improve our memory! 

Natures brain food!  Need I say more?  And, while I'm at it, did you know that even though the typical diet includes way too much fat - it does not include enough Omega 3's?  So before you decide to go on a low fat diet consider which types of fats you are consuming.  The typical diet contains way too much meat so most people are walking around with an abundance of Omega 6 but not enough Omega 3 to balance it out.  It's all about balance, people!

Cayenne Peppers:
It's high in vitamins a, c, e and minerals and beta-carotene.  Not only does it help in relieving depression but it may also be effective in relieving heart attack symptoms.  Yes, you read that right.  Cayenne helps to thin the blood and prevent blood clots which can clog arteries and cause a heart attack and stroke.  Add a pinch to your morning hot (or room temp) water and lemon.

This is my absolute favorite trick which I also use at work on the kids.  Try it the next time you are feeling down or in a bad mood.  Plaster on the most ridiculous fake smile you can muster up and you will see that in no time you are in a better mood.  It works like a charm and you will be smiling for real in no time!  I make the kids do it whenever they seem too antsy or when I notice they are arguing a lot with each other - it gets them laughing in no time.

Green Smoothies:
Energy abounds in one of these bad boys!  Especially when you are adding some leafy greens and bananas to the mix.  Take it up a notch with some flax or hemp seeds, boosting the Omega 3 content, and you will be flying high!

   Enjoy the happiness high my friends!  Oh, and if you are wondering who the Partridge Family are, here's a little video to help you out.  This show was before my time but I am a sucker for re-runs and used to catch some of them with my mom.

Ves xx :)

Friday, September 07, 2012

Vegan Crepes OR (in my world) Palačinke!

   Hi Friends!
   I have been meaning to post this recipe ever since I made it.  I love this recipe because it's super simple but most importantly because it's possible!  You see, Crepes, or Palačinke as we call them, were a weekend treat that my mom would whip up for us.  We always had sweet and savory options.  The sweet was always whatever jam we had in the fridge and the savory was this Feta cheese mixture that my mom would make.
   I haven't had crepes in over a year so you can imagine how much I've missed them!  One day during my visit in Nova Scotia, my mom was planning on making them for breakfast for everyone.  She looked at me and asked if she thought we could figure out a way to make them vegan for me.  Challenge accepted!  We came up with a couple of different recipe ideas and then I thought I'd ask my good friend Google what kind of recipes are out there.  After all, I can't be the only vegan craving crepes!  Google did not disappoint.  There are tons of recipes out there and all of them look yummy.  As always, I got some great ideas and came up with my own recipe.  I like to be less fussy then most of the recipes I found.  The result was a crepe that tasted exactly how I remember them - but without the dairy and eggs!  This recipe is a keeper!

Vegan Crepes
Makes about 8 crepes
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used Unsweetened Almond Milk)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Earth Balance (melted)
1 cup flour

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Transfer to a 2 Cup measuring cup (for pouring), cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Lightly grease a non stick pan or cast iron skillet.  Heat the skillet on medium heat until hot.  Pour just enough batter to cover the middle part of the skillet. Gently swirl the pan around to help the batter cover the entire skillet. Cook until golden, flip and cook on the opposite side. 
Fill your crepes with something sweet or savory - I filled mine with jam from the farmers market.  Yum!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!  Maybe this will be Sunday Brunch for some of you? Ha. ;)

Ves xx

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

WIAW #12 & An Appropriate Theme!

   Hi All!  I hope everyone survived yesterday's back-to-school-bonanza!  Even if you are not a teacher/student/parent, I'm sure you could feel the back-to-school chaos floating in the air.  Normally, I find the first day back a little hectic (to put it mildly) but this year everything went surprisingly smoothly.  A little too smooth.  It makes me wonder what I have to look forward to the rest of the week.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm a super positive person... but I know better.  And I'm pretty sure the kids still have some tricks up their sleeves that they've yet to show!  But enough about that.  It's time for another episode of What I Ate Wednesday.  And since I missed last weeks WIAW, I have some food sharing to catch up on.  I've had some yummy eats lately so let's get to it, shall we?

Some of my yummy Breakfasts...
{Giant Green Smoothie!}
{Vegan Crepes... first time making them and they turned out so good.  PLUS a coffee (duh!)}
{Veggies with homemade (RAW) hummus}
{I Love Salad!}
Delectable Dinners...
{grilled romaine salad with quinoa and avocados}
{sweet potato fries and avocado dip!}
{quinoa tacos in romaine shells}
Thirst Quenchers...
{Water & Lemon... won't start my day without it!}
{Some days you just need a glass or two... or three of wine!}
And last but not least...
My Little Obsession...
{Ginger Chews!  Man I love these}
   The theme for this month is FALL... plus some goals.  How appropriate since I just made a promise to myself that I would finally participate in this years Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food).  Basically you blog about food (vegan of course) all month long.  Some people come up with themes and others just go with the flow.  Last year I missed it because I wasn't sure what month it was and by the time I figured it out it was too late.  The fun starts in October so stay tuned for more details later this month!

Well, there you have it!  What's the yummiest thing you've eaten lately?

Ves xx

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Vegan Poutine - It's All About the Gravy!

   Hi Friends!
   I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and the amazing weather that we had.  Thank you Mother Nature!
   I reserved (or rather procrastinated until I had no choice) the Holiday Monday for homework and regretted it almost immediately: the weather was amazing!  But, I had spent the entire weekend visiting with friends and family and doing my own thing, that there was simply no way to avoid the inevitable.  I did, however, manage to get in some Skype time with my mom which is always welcome and always puts me in the best mood. 
   After that I dug into my homework.  Halfway through one of my modules I got this insane craving for a Poutine.  I have no idea where it came from because I literally haven't had a Poutine in probably 2 years.  But, who am I to deny myself a craving?  So, after finishing up the module, I set out to create a Vegan Poutine.  I already had some Sweet Potato fries and Daiya cheese hanging around but, it was the gravy that had me worried.  You see, I've only made gravy a few times as a vegan and every time I've: 1. Had plenty of time to fuss with it and 2. Had my mom around! Ha.  This time around I was starving and didn't want to be doing a whole bunch of prep work.  So, I combed the web to see if I could find some recipes that weren't too complicated, and decided that I would come up with my own - taking ideas from the different recipes that I found.
    The result was the most amazing gravy that I have made yet!  I am not kidding.  And, I really wish that a none-veg person was around to taste it so that I can be sure that it's not just me who thinks it's great.  In fact, I actually thought of my mom immediately and wished that she was here to taste it.  So mom, if you are reading this (which I know you are!), I am SO making this when you come to visit because I desperately need your opinion!
     This recipe is definitely going to be a staple at my house and I will absolutely be making this for Thanksgiving!  And thus the reason I am posting this particular recipe today.  I mentioned in yesterday's post how this time last year I was already planning my Thanksgiving menu and how this year it was the furthest thing from my mind.  Well, after making tonight's dinner and sampling that gravy, I definitely have Thanksgiving on the brain!  So, while I had another recipe all ready to go for today's post, I give you my recipe for a Vegan Poutine.  Enjoy!
Vegan Poutine
1 serving Sweet Potato Fries (any kind) OR make your own!
1/4 cup Daiya Mozarella Cheese
1/2 of Super Simple Gravy (recipe below)
Prepare gravy and set aside.  Meanwhile, prepare sweet potato fries according to package instructions.  Once baked, place your fries into an oven safe dish.  Set oven to broil and add cheese to the fries.  Place into the oven to broil until cheese is almost completely melted (about 2 minutes).  Remove from oven and add the hot gravy to the fries to completely melt the cheese.  Eat!

Super Simple Gravy
Makes about 1 cup
(double this recipe to serve more people)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp soy sauce (I used Coconut Aminos)
dollop of mustard
2 tbsp flour
1 tablespoon vegan butter
sea salt and pepper, to taste
I started off by making a rue with the flour and butter on med-low heat.  It was the worlds smallest rue and I really wish that I had taken a picture to show you guys, but I was too busy making sure that I didn't ruin it!  Then I slowly added in the veg broth in quarter cup increments, whisking vigorously during each addition.  Once the veg broth was incorporated I added the rest of the ingredients and turned the heat up.  I brought everything to a boil (whisking every once in a while) and then turned the heat down to medium low.  I cooked (and whisked!) until the desired thickness was reached.
   This dish definitely satisfied my craving for a poutine and now I'm set for at least another year or so.  Ha.  I hope you guys get a chance to make this soon.

Have a wonderful, stress-free day!
Ves xx

Monday, September 03, 2012

Holiday Mondays Make Me Smile

   Hello all!  I hope you're all enjoying the last long weekend of summer.  I was just thinking what a difference a year makes.  This time last year I was wearing a hoodie and eating hot soup to stay warm, and this year I'm ready for another day at the beach!  Because of the cooler weather we were having, I was already thinking about Fall and planning my Thanksgiving menu.  Don't believe me?  Check out this post here.
   This year, Thanksgiving is the furthest thing from my mind (although it's still my favorite holiday!)  In fact, I'm secretly praying for this gloriously warm weather to continue well into September... and maybe right up to my birthday!? ;)  A girl can dream, right?
   For now, I really just want to be doing what this dog is doing.  Or at least, I want a dog that does this!  Watch the video and you'll get what I mean.

Happy Labor Day everyone - especially to all of my teacher friends!  Enjoy it while you can as 'Tylenol Tuesday' is just around the corner!

Ves xx
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