Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegan MoFo Begins: Halloween Post



Today is the first day of Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food). The deadline to sign up for this month-long blogging adventure is November 2. Since I struggle to complete one post a week, I'm curious how this is going to work out for me.

But I'm optimistic, and I've got giveaways! I have plans for about 4 of them this month! My first giveaway will be for a $40 CSN gift certificate. (You know, CSN, where you can buy everything from knives to nightstands!) I have enjoyed working with CSN, and they always have great customer service. I'll start that giveaway tomorrow!

Read more about Vegan MoFo here. The goal is to post at least 20 times during the month of November about...well, vegan food. My favorite topic. (Other than my children and husband, of course...so you'll probably see bits of them throughout the month, as well.) I'll tell you more about me and my vegan "story" tomorrow. (I even fancied up my site with a new border for any "company" who come to visit.)

I'm actually not a huge Halloween person (I'm not even really sure how I feel about the whole thing.), but my kids are hyper-aware of its existence so I do try to make it fun for them. We usually have a full themed meal, but I was too tired and too busy to even attempt it this year. I did do a couple of things, though.

First, I made Monster Shakes. I saw the idea for decorating kids' cups on this blog. For ours, I cut face shapes out of sticky back foam ($.79), then colored in the eyes with crayons. My 10 year old son saw me making them, so he made the one on the left. The foam stays on really well, and it peels off really easily after you're done.

Our Monster Shakes consist of bananas, avocado (one whole big one!), a kiwi fruit, frozen kale, frozen mango, soymilk, a couple of squirts of agave nectar, and 2 tsp. of organic sugar (I only added the sugar because it was very avocado-y, and my 5 year old doesn't like avocado - he was the first to finish his shake, though!)

After supper, we had pumpkin pie for dessert (complete with Rice Whip I ordered from Vegan Essentials). This is the recipe I always use for pumpkin pie:

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

1 can (16 oz. pureed pumpkin)
3/4 cup organic sugar (or 1/2 cup maple syrup): see my remarks below about cutting this down
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2-3 TBS cornstarch
1 package (10-12 oz.) silken tofu
1 9 in. unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 F. Blend all ingredients. (I use my BlendTec.) Pour in pie shell, and bake 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 F. and bake for another 60 minutes. Chill (the longer, the better).


I rarely follow the spice measurements exactly because I use Pumpkin Pie spice. Also, I use the refrigerated type of silken tofu (which is 1 lb. per pack, and this worked.) since I realized the boxed kind contains soy protein isolate. I doubled this recipe to make two pies, and I CUT THE SUGAR IN HALF. We did notice a difference (not as sweet) by only using 3/4 cup sugar for two pies, but Ryan and I both agreed that it was totally worth it to have less sugar. And the kids were shoveling it in; they had no complaints.

So obviously we went with the Peter Pan theme: my 5 year old was Peter, my 3 year old was Tinkerbell, I was Captain Hook (the female version), and Ryan was one of my pirates. My 10 year old (being the creative, original guy that he is) adamantly wanted to be a television set. (He saw this idea on ActivityTV.com - a great fun site for all you parents out there.) He agreed to let Peter Pan be playing on the screen. :)

I said that Halloween isn't a huge deal for me. (We didn't even dress up last year.) I like to protect my little ones' eyes from all the scary stuff, and since it's mostly about the trick-or-treating, which isn't too great for us, we usually do our own thing at home. The kids did dress up this year for our local library's storytime, and we did let them Trick-or-Treat at a few houses (including my parents' house above). They were really getting into it, despite the fact they knew they weren't going to eat the contents of their bags. There's just something about knocking on somebody's door, declaring "Trick or treat!", and having someone tell you how cute you are before they fill your bag with gifts.

This is what we do with some of our Halloween candy - and any other candy that gets put in my wee ones hands throughout the year: I stick it in the freezer, and we use it to make a gingerbread house at Christmas.

The kids do not object at all to switching their treat bags with treats I have purchased for them ahead of time. (We also avoid, if at all possible, artificial food - coloring, etc. so I'm not crazy about the mainstream candy that happens to be vegan, either.) I ordered the Whizzers, Spun City Cotton Candy, and Allison's Gourmet caramels from Vegan Essentials. I'd also gotten a bag of Surf Sweets sour worms from Whole Foods.

And THESE are the treats my parents gave them in goody bags...Gogo squeeZ applesauce on the go, Surf Sweets vegan worms, Clif Twists, Stretch Island fruit leather, and stickers. Thank you, Momma, for the health-ier, vegan treats!

After we came home, they lounged on our bed and ate some of their treats.
Guess what we watched?

23 comments:

  1. Oh thank you so much for that pumpkin pie recipe! I have some silken tofu that I desperately need to use up before it goes bad, and I couldn't find a pie recipe that doesn't use cream cheese. So thanks - and happy MoFo! :D

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  2. Those monster shakes are AWESOME! And so too is that pumpkin pie Mmmmmmmmmmmmm NOM NOM NOM!
    Happy MoFo'ing
    :)

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  3. I loved reading this post, it reminded me so much of what trick-or-treating was like for our family when the kids were small. Back then it was pretty hard to find healthy vegan treats that weren't homemade — I handed out a lot of raisins. :D And a lot of Glennies lollipops.

    The photo of your family is great — you all look adorable.

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  4. Love it! We did the same thing after trick-or-treat. I love Charlie Brown and my daughter loves when he says "I got a rock.".

    I'm big on cutting down sugar, too. I almost always cut sugar by AT LEAST half when I bake. Sometimes the result is not so great, but it's the only way I can balance my love for baking with my desire to eat a diet low in sugar.

    I've struggled with the Halloween candy thing a lot, but my oldest very clearly stated her preference for keeping her candy as opposed to trading it in for the non-candy item of her choice. Ultimately, though, she doesn't eat a lot of the candy because she only gets it if she eats her dinner and she rarely does that.

    Love the borders!

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  5. Cute costumes! I think it's great that they are ok with trading out the treats. That pie sounds good to me. Did you use soft, firm or extra-firm (or do you think it matters) for the tofu? Love that you dolled up the site for new company ;-)

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  6. Wow, look at you guys, so cute in your Peter Pan theme! And, I have to say, the TV set idea is awesome...very creative!

    The monster shakes are such a great idea!

    It all sounds like fun, the Charlie Brown Halloween special was always one of my favorites...he always gets a rock.

    Any way, looking forward to your MoFo posts...I doubt I'll make it everyday either, but am aiming for the 20 times too.

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  7. Great family photo. Tinkerbell is completely adorable.

    Love the monster shakes, great work mom.

    I am not sure I will post everyday either, but all we can do is try.

    Ali

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  8. "....but my kids are hyper-aware of its existence" HHAHAHAA yes!lol i love halloween, you get to wear a tail and i used to be a candy fiend:) what i dont like about halloween(like you) is the darker side like blood and guts, ghosts and witches etc. cant we all jsut be cute little animals with candy??

    this post totally could have been made into three! that might help you to not be overwhelmed you know? i ALWAYS REALLY (REALLY REALLY) enjoy your posts. you are so fun.

    i love rice whip!lol.

    that was so sweet of your parents to find all that vegan candy!!it can be tough.lately(five or six months maybe?) i have been staying away from colors(additives eetc) i think i feel better. tty soon!

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  9. Fantastic idea to save the bad stuff to make Gingerbread Houses! (Not that I've ever made a Gingerbread House, but if I did...). As usual, the kids are adorable and the hub is hot.

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  10. What a great post! You all look so good in your costumes!
    In Scotland, it's 'guising' rather than 'trick or treating' (though American ideas are creeping in...) The kids dress up, but they visit houses and 'do a wee turn' as in sing a song, tell a joke, ask a riddle, and then they're given treats. Our two used to go all along the street to neighbours we knew as did all the other children in the street. Happy times!
    Great new look, BTW!

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  11. Hi Chang Chang,
    Thank you (and your mom!) for featuring GoGo SqueeZ applesauce on your blog, we are glad to loved in the vegan community :)
    We would be happy to stay in touch with you on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/i.like.gogosqueez ). FYI We have a photo contest running through fall season with 2 chances to win a case of 48 pouches!

    Best,
    Laurent / community manager / @gogosqueez / http://www.gogosqueez.com

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  12. We had pumpkin pie with for Halloween feast too, but I have never heard of Rice Whip. I will have to to check that out. Love the shakes and the sticky foam idea. You guys are adorable. :) I look forward to more of your blogging this month.

    Love & Sunshine!
    Connie

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  13. I'm most definately going to try out your Pumpkin Pie recipe, this is my first thanksgiving as a vegan and if I can pull off a fantastic Pecan and Pumpkin pie then ill make a good impression on my family

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  14. I love the new border you have!
    Those monster shakes sound yummy and they are sooo cute!
    Your pumpking pie sounds awesome. I'll have to forget to tell my husband that it has tofu in it though...lol

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  15. I think you fell off my reader somehow! Grr! Well, I've re-subscribed and am back in time for your Vegan MoFo posts :D

    You have such a beautiful family. :)

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  16. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाFebruary 18, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    That vegan pumpkin pie looks amazing :-)

    ReplyDelete
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