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A few of my favorite things…Vegan MoFo!

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In a perfect world, I’d have an open food budget and I could afford to buy whatever I please, from wherever I please, whenever I want. That’s not reality. However, sometimes I can afford to splurge. Here are some of my favorite, simple things.
Raspberries and coconut milk yogurt for breakfast on a hot summer morning:

Quinoa and Toasted Almonds with hot sauce, and a cooling seaweed salad for lunch.

Pictures are hard to judge at times. This was easily 2 cups of seaweed salad. I got this generous portion at Sushi Yobi.

Before I went vegan, I’m pretty sure you could not have convinced me to try a seaweed salad. Even though I love sushi, I am not a huge nori fan, so the thought of a seaweed salad was kind of off-putting. Until I learned that not all seaweed was created equal that is!
A raspberry and milagro blanco tequila cocktail with just a tiny bit of agave. Smashed berries+agave mix wonderfully with a good blanco tequila.

And dinner would be a long, lazy affair.
First some raosted cauliflower soup with a bit of truffle oil and green onions:

Followed by my current absolute favorite southern meal, kale, red onions, and grits that took 45 minutes of constant stirring to make.

I generally cook my kale in lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic and a little bit of coconut oil when it’s going on top of grits. Otherwise, I stick to hot sauce/oj/tamari/garlic at all times. It’s my go-to.
A note about grits. I actually always thought I hated grits until a couple of years ago. It turns out, I just don’t like instant grits. Real grits are just a white cornmeal version of polenta. It’s funny though; my husband still hates polenta. I think he’s just being picky.
A delicious day like this would certainly need to end with dessert; but let’s be real for a moment; I’d rather have an alcoholic drink than sugar. So I’ll leave dessert to your imagination. What does a delicious day look like to you?

Vegan Mofo#2 AKA 50 days from Thanksgiving

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Today is 50 days from Thanksgiving. I can’t take credit for knowing that though, It was Cassie over at Back To Her Roots. In fact, most of this blog post is kind of taken form her, because her post really inspired me this morning.

Her post inspired me to meet 10 goals in 50 days. I know I can do this and telling the blog world will only help me stick to my guns on this! Now, Cassie is not vegan, but she does post quite a lot of vegan recipes. So while my goals will be very similar to hers, they will not be the same-specifically her #5. Goal, which is to eat at least 75 meatless meals. I do that anyways :)

So I want to lay out my goals:
1. Log at least 2000 fitness minutes. That means an average of 40 minutes per day. This one will actually be easier for me now than it would have been in the past; specifically because my husband and I recently rescued this handsome guy:


He’s the reason I’m late to work almost every day. He likes 2-3 walks a day and I’m definitely okay with that!
2. Walk or run 1000 miles. See above. THANK YOU CHANEY!!
3. Learn 10 yoga poses. I’ve never done any yoga, so this should be fun :)
4. Eat 250 servings of vegetables.
5. Eat 75 oil free meals.
6. Drink 500 8 ounce glasses of water. This WILL be a challenge. I really slack on water consumption.
7. Go at least 25 days without consuming any refined sugar.
8. Complete 25 random acts of kindness
9. Go 50 days without complaining about my body or anyone else’s. I have noticed that females in general are pretty guilty of criticizing the bodies of others. It’s not fair and it’s not okay. I don’t like it when people do it to me, I need to stop doing it myself.
10. Convince my husband to participate in Meatless Monday on a permanent basis. I know that goal is related to him, but if I’m pushy enough, he’ll do it :)

What does this have to do with vegan mofo? Oh, I’m not really sure, but I think it’s an excellent plan and I challenge anyone out there to try setting their own goals. Hey, if you’re not vegan, why not make it a goal to be vegan for the next 50 days?

Butternut Squash Pumpkin Curry VeganMoFo #1

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I wasn’t really sure I was going to sign up to participate in VeganMofo this year. The thing is, October-April is my busiest time of year. I work in the employee benefits industry, and this is the time of year when everyone meets about their benefits and decides what they’re going to do for the upcoming year. For me, this means traveling and a lot of public speaking. However, I’ve been working on changing my eating habits, and I’ve found that tracking my food and blogging really helps keep me on top of things. My theme this year is going to be along the lines of eating Whole Foods. It’s not going to focus on living without oil or salt, but I will focus on consuming whole foods. Over the weekend, I experimented with making a curry without adding oil. I don’t have a lot of curry experience because my husband is not a fan of curry in general. (Yes, he’s crazy.)
Ingredients:
one medium butternut squash, seeded, quartered, and thinly sliced
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 medium sized sweet onions, halved and sliced
1 15 OZ can full fat OR light coconut milk
2 cups water
1 vegetable broth cube (not-chicken is a favorite)
4 tablespoons of panang curry paste (I like Arroyo D, it’s oil free) If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, reduce the curry paste to 2T and add more to taste.
Saute onions and butternut squash in a bit of water until they soften, for about 10 minutes. Add in curry paste, and stir to coat all veggies. Then add coconut milk, water, and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine and simmer of medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover, and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Serve over quinoa. Makes 5 servings.
I tend to start the quinoa right as the first round of simmering finishes. I always make quinoa the same way, I rinse the quinoa, then dry cook it until the water has cooked off and the quinoa toasts a bit, then add double the amount of vegetable broth (or water+broth cube), and cook the quinoa, covered, for 20 minutes. I never add any seasonings until it’s cooked, and typically I ONLY add black pepper to it.

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Originally posted on the taste space:

This is the story of a picnic that didn’t happen, twice.

We had full intentions of getting together with friends, having a picnic together on the island.  However, after a weather forecast of 100% rain, the plans were abandoned. Rob and I stayed at home and relished in a relaxing afternoon together.

Together, we still continued with our picnic menu: Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Dried Iranian Limes. I figured a grain salad would travel well but may not be too picnic-friendly (who was going to bring plates?) so I thought it would be neat to stuff it into a wrap. Rice paper rolls for company and kale wraps for me! I figured a tahini dipping sauce would bring this over the edge, so we plunged forward with our ornate plans.

Ottolenghi called this a quinoa salad, but really it is a quinoa-basmati-wild rice salad. The mix of…

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Some pre MoFo Pictures.

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Picture post

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Veggie breakfast sandwich.
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Veggie breakfast burrito topped with vegan chili
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Random breakfast: quinoa, tomatoes, onions, cactus, corn and zucchini. This was immediately doused in hot sauce. Because hot sauce goes on everything.
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An extremely dark picture of a pumpkin sandwich cookie with butter cream.
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Milagro silver tequila margarita from Rose Pepper
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Ribbon zucchini salad
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Originally posted on the taste space:

The summer is winding down and this will be the last of my Raw Thursdays. Not because I won’t be cooking, or uncooking raw foods. Because I feel I like be concentrating a bit more on work and three posts a week seems better for now.

One reason why I started adding an extra raw recipe each week was because I wanted to highlight how easy and tasty they can be. Indeed, I have posted raw recipes even when it hasn’t been a Thursday post. Summer just brings out the best raw cuisine.

However, I know not everyone likes raw. I feel bad for my buddies in Vancouver. Whenever I visit, I drag them to yet another raw restaurant. My experiences seem to be better than theirs, despite being at the same restaurant. The first time, my friend was sick afterwards…. Me? I went back a second time and enjoyed…

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