Monday, April 25, 2011

E.A.T. World! Challenge: Korea & Ireland

We recently explored the country of South Korea during our homeschool studies.

I wrote about it on my family/homeschool blog.

I made a Korean meal to culminate our studies: stir-fry, kimchi, rice, and Bulgogi.

Bulgogi is Korean barbecue. We got the recipe from a fellow homeschool blogger mom who adopted her sons from South Korea. Here is the veganized version:

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ)

4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 clove of garlic - finely chopped together

Mix together. Add 1 lb. chopped seitan. Marinade for a few hours or overnight. Cook in wok or frying pan. This was really delicious!

We began learning about Ireland around St. Patrick's Day and finished up tonight with an Irish meal (complete with Irish flag paper confetti on the table).

I was a little nervous I wouldn't get supper finished before our power went off in all of the storms swirling around tonight. We spent a portion of time in the closet under the stairs while the storm sirens blared and possible tornadoes were reported near our house. Therefore, meal prep was a little touch and go.

Potato Soup

I based it off this recipe, which uses pureed tofu. So it's actually Potato Tofu Soup. I also added freeze-dried dill. It's extra thick because my husband requested it as such.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
We have been reading some Irish folktales about a man named Jamie O'Rourke. In this particular book, Jamie plants a magical potato seed which results in such a huge "pratie," the entire town grows sick of eating potatoes. We don't eat too many potatoes around our house, for some reason, so I bought a bag the other day - in honor of Jamie O'Rourke - and we've been trying to see how many ways we can eat them (so far - fried, roasted, mashed, and in soup...we've got plenty of potatoes to go, too).

Corned "Beef" and Cabbage

This is based on a recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I didn't have a few of the ingredients, including horseradish and wine. It was good, regardless, although my 6 year old wanted no part in it.

Irish Apple Mash

I used this recipe. It's basically mashed potatoes mixed with mashed apples. Pretty good stuff, if you like mashed potatoes and cooked apples.

Irish Soda Bread

This came from the same Fat Free Vegan Kitchen post as the seitan recipe. Ryan has requested that I now make this regularly. As I am not a maker of bread, I will say this one was super, super easy. It's just whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and plain soy yogurt. Stir, throw the resulting ball of dough on the cookie sheet, and bake.


Next, we're moving on to Great Britain. We're planning on dressing up fancy to watch the Royal Wedding on Friday. And drink tea and eat crumpets and cucumber sandwiches all day. Ooo, maybe we'll even make a wedding cake.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegan in St. Louis

This weekend I drove to St. Louis to visit my sister Cary and her husband and kids. (She summed up our trip pretty well here.) Only my daughter went with me, giving us some "girl time." (The boys had lots of fun at home with daddy - going hiking, etc.) Traveling with one child is obviously much simpler. I'm going to take just the boys on a trip next.

I think St. Louis (which is a 6-6 1/2 hour drive for me) has really stepped it up vegan-wise over the past few years. "Vegan" seems to be popping up on the menu at more places. My sister lives in a downtown loft; we headed over a few blocks to Rooster, a crepe & sandwich cafe, for Sunday brunch.

There is a gluten-free, vegan crepe option listed on the menu. My daughter and I ordered ours...

filled with black beans, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, onions, and oven dried tomatoes, etc. It was good; I would order it again for sure. They told me they have dessert crepes, too, for vegans who eat white sugar.

One night, we all went to Pi Pizzeria, located in "The Loop" area of STL. (Name dropping: apparently Obama loved the pizza here so much he had the owners go prepare it at The White House.)

I was looking forward to trying their deep-dish pizza. However, we found out upon arrival that they need a few hours notice to make the deep dish crust vegan (because otherwise it has butter on the bottom). Instead, we ordered the thin crust with roasted garlic, kalamata olives, artichoke, spinach, and Daiya. It's always fun to be able to order at a "pizzeria." (They also have Match meat as an option for those who are interested.)


Of course, who needs a vegan restaurant when you have a vegetarian sister who likes to make vegan treats for her family?

Breakfast options: blueberry muffins (a veganized version of this recipe), yogurt, fruit salad, milk, and juice.

Supper one night: wraps with cut-up Gardein strips, mustard, spinach, quinoa, Daiya, and spinach.

Lunch one day: guacamole and quesadillas with Daiya, quinoa, spinach, corn, and black beans.

These have a glaze topping, which isn't apparent in this picture. The recipe at The Daily Garnish is gluten-free, but for lack of certain ingredients, Cary used wheat flour. Aren't they cute? They were tasty, too.

These were probably the best homemade brownies I've ever had. They just had a very reliable, moist yet firm consistency. And I really like chocolate chips in brownies.


Mix all of that in with:
sweet Puddy who seemed quite at home under our covers on the daybed,

a fun morning at Lafayette Park,

my adorable niece and nephew,

a precious The Beauty and the Beast fairytale tea party for the girls (I brought vegan desserts for her, which she was fine with.) at The Magic House,

and even a So Delicious neopolitan icecream sandwich...

and it all equals a great weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things I'm Lovin' Lately

Vivacious Vegan from Adventures from Nutritarian Vegan in Midwestern America so kindly awarded me with the Stylish blogger Award. The bad news...VV is leaving the blog world. :( I hope she comes back one of these days!

In order to fulfill the duties of this prestigious award I must:
1. Make a post & link back to the person who gave me this award.
2. Share 7 things about myself.
3. Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.

I find that it is difficult to come up with 7 more things about myself that you don't already know. So instead, I'm going to mention 7 "things" I have especially liked lately.

Alamo City Salt-free Citrus Pepper. Would also like to try their Chili Lime or Lime Pepper, etc. I'm a big fan of citrus flavor in general. And also, incidentally, citrus lotion, shampoo, bubble bath, etc.

Sunja's Kimchi. Especially on wraps. This is my wrap with kimchi, greens, carrots, tomatoes, and chia seeds. I'd bet money there was some melted Daiya hiding under there somewhere.

I've eaten a lot of wraps lately on my gluten free tortillas, which are my favorite. Even though they're a little tough, I love them still.

another random wrap with avocado, rice, black beans,
cooked Kabocha squash, Daiya, and kimchi

Hail Merry's Chocolate Miracle really is a miracle.

It's hard to get a picture to do it justice. The ingredients are cocoa, coconut oil, maple syrup, almond flour, and salt. The only downside is the $4.99 price tag. I've tried finding a recipe that would equal its creamy wonderness, but I haven't quite achieved an exact match yet. Anyone have somethin' for me to try?

Update: Since I started writing this a few weeks ago, I think I have finally eaten my share of chocolate tarts. Don't get me wrong; it took me many, many months to get tired of these. I always go through cycles of being obsessed with one dessert at a time. I had the Lemon flavor tart the other day, and it was a nice change.

I saw these Pom Wonderful Fresh Pomegranate packs at Sam's Club. I have always loved pomegranates, but this was a healthy-lazy girl's dream: pomegranate seeds all ready to eat. And usually when I eat from a pomegranate, it's one seed at a time as I make my way through. When you put a handful in your mouth at a time, it's bursting with juicy wonderment. I hope they have these next time I hit Sam's, or maybe I'll ask another store to carry them.

I also really liked the pomegranate seeds on my oatmeal. (Also included: apples, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, grapefruit, and raspberries.)

Speaking of Sam's Club and raspberries, they have had the BEST organic raspberries (see above). I rarely ever buy fresh raspberries because I'd only buy organic, and those never look so fresh. These were the freshest, brightest, plumpest organic raspberries I've ever seen.)

That Pickle Guy's Olive Muffaletta. It is a raw mixture of minced olives and vegetables plus spices (and oil, which is the bad, bad thing). The jar makes these claims: Great on everything! and Habit Forming! Have Plenty. I can't say they are exaggerating. I love it on sandwiches.

Another hit for Hail Merry. (I really love everything I've tried from this company!) Red Bell Pepper Macadamia Nut Dip.

There was just something about it; I couldn't get enough.

Coconut Secret brand raw Coconut Aminos. I was interested in trying it after I saw it on Bitt of Raw's blog. I was going to order it online, then one day I gasped with excitement when I saw it newly sitting on the shelf at my Whole Foods. I like the taste of it; it is a nice alternative to Bragg's or soy sauce.

A version of Kristen's Raw Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake. I use frozen bananas, almond milk (or whatever "milk" we have available), frozen cherries, and Vega's Choc-o-lot Shake & Go Smoothie Powder (pea & hemp protein plus veggie based). The cherry-chocolate combination is so good.

See how I applied a Michelle-like technique of sneaking more into my list. Hopefully, everyone is reading this part and not just assuming I can't count.


That's my list, and here is my version of the States Traveled Map that has been floating around on your blogs. This has been good for me to look at. Especially during my "My life is so boring; I don't ever get to do anything, wah wah" moments. I think my new resolution for this year is to be able to fill in one more white state. Which one should I try?

As for passing on the award, let me think about that and get back to you. I have a couple of ideas, but I don't think I can come up with 10 new ones. Let me look around.


Here is a fun read! Quarry Girl attended the Natural Foods Expo in L.A. again; I always look forward to her thorough recaps of the latest, greatest vegan products on the market. Still no health(ier) biscuits in a can or squeezey cheeze for me, but there is some other great-looking stuff! I know my kids will want to get their little hands on some vegan Peeps.

Missed you guys!