Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vegan Mofo ~ Super GREENS Pesto

I've mentioned before just how AWESOME our Basil Plants are doing on our Rooftop/Container Garden...well...I was FINALLY able to do something with the FRESH Basil!  I think I will call this Super GREENS Pesto!

Here's the recipe:

1 and a half C Brazil Nuts
2 Handfuls of FRESH Basil Leaves
2 tea Lime Juice
Splash of Grapeseed Oil (I used Wildtree's Lemon Flavor)
1 T Nutritional Yeast
1/2 C Water

Optional - but I used these add-ins pictured above - and they were AWESOME:

1 tea GoL's Wheatgrass Juice Powder
Wildtree Lemon Pepper to taste

You can see my FULL Plate for dinner that night, too!  I had White Rice with Pesto on top, Pine Nut Hummus and Raw Crackers, and mixed veggies!

One of the reasons I LOVE the GoL Wheat Grass is because of this...

Our CERTIFIED ORGANIC Greens are sustainably grown by our family farmers here in the USA. We harvest before the grain buds (to prevent gluten from forming) and then juice at the farm immediately after harvest. Our juice is gently low-temperature dried and powdered onsite locking in its nutritionally dense, organic goodness. The end result is highly bioavailable and many times more concentrated in nutrients, including Chlorophyll, than whole leaf grass powders, putting the GREEN IN YOUR GREENS!†

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vegan MoFo ~ Cheesy Corn Grits Broccoli

Sometimes when I stock my pantry I grab items that are on sale and then not really know what to do with the product.  I have to admit corn grits isn't something I do a lot with but after I did this dish last night - I will be doing more in the future with this product.  The corn grits I bought were Bob's Red Mill's Brand and YELLOW Corn Grits.  Here's my recipe for this yummy comfort food.

1/2 C Yellow Corn Grits
2 Cups Water
1 C Broccoli (in Ninja/Food Processor)
2 T Nutritional Yeast
2 to 3 T Earth Balance

Optional Add Ins:
Sprinkle Wildtree California Garlic Pepper
Sprinkle (on top) Parma! Vegan Parmesan - Garlicky Green Flavor

Other Add In Ideas that I didn't Use in the Photo Above:
Spray (or two) Bragg's Liquid Aminos (if you want it a bit saltier)
GoL Perfect Food RAW - Green Super Food (if you want to get more 'greens' in there)

A few reasons I enjoy GoL's Green Super Food:

  • One serving of Perfect Food Super Green Powder is equivalent to 140g of fresh grass juice.
  • Excellent source of natural Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and a good source of natural Vitamin C.
  • Contains spirulina that supports healthy immune function.
  • Contains algae and cereal grass juices that provide a natural source of alkalizing minerals.
  • Select ingredients in Perfect Food Super Green Formula are produced through the Garden of Life proprietary Poten-Zyme® fermentation process to make the nutrients more available to the body.
  • Includes a Probiotic Blend to support digestive health.
  • Supports healthy carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Great for those on low carbohydrate diets or people who are unable to eat enough green foods.
  • Perfect Food comes in two easy-to-use forms: Powder and Caplets.

Mailtime Monday...on Tuesday!

I LOVE getting mail!  I always have!  It could be a package or just a simple letter...I just LOVE it! 

Yesterday I received this neat Tea Box from Tea Box Express and I will be doing a Full Length Review over at Sororitea Sisters in the near future.  Tea Box Express is a monthly subscription service for tea lovers.  Each month you will get a featured tea and a few other tea related or tea themed items in your box.  This month Teatulia was the featured tea.  I have had this black tea from Teatulia before and it's a good go-to black tea.  The box is very well done with lovely 'thoughts' and things to make you smile along the way.

One of the other things that was featured in this month's box was tea honey.  No...this isn't vegan.  I will be giving this to my husband - he's a honey fan. 

Another item that I will be sharing because it's NOT vegan is this cookie.  I decided to pass this along to my mother in law.  This cookie was HUGE...like one you might see in a specialty gift shop that is a couple dollars each.
I do really like the tea bag holder or the spoon dish - I guess you could use it either way.  It's sitting on my desk at work, actually.

And you can see the teapot themed stir stick on the bottom of the one photo - it's really neat, too!  Eventho I use Agave I think this would work well with honey or a honey alternative or if you are one of those people who have a milk or milk alternative in your tea and just use it as a stir stick - it's still super cute!  Since I drink all of my teas straight-up with no additives I will most likely be using that for decor OR if I have guests over.


Another piece of HAPPY MAIL I received yesterday was a coupon for an Earth Balance item valued at $6.99 - I won it last week over at the VeganMoFo site!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Roundup & Rooftop Garden Updates


A little bit of a "Weekend Round Up" as well as an update on the Rooftop Garden/Container Garden in this post!  This past weekend my mom, dad, sister, and I were with our Wildtree Products at Merritt Winery outside of Dunkirk, NY, for the 2nd time this year.  The weather started off not-so-great but it ended on a more pleasant note.  I was able to take a photograph of their vineyards before we left Sunday Night.

My sister and parents went on a little outing not too long ago and grabbed a drink or two at a Greek Restaurant and saved me this bottle.  WHY?  You might ask?  Well, because it has a Unicorn on it - of course!  If you don't already know - I've been a life long unicorn collector...I added this to my collection.  I posted this photo on InstaGram and noticed Mythos Beer is really popular overseas...I saw posts from Greece, Turkey, Italy, and other countries, too!  Pretty neat!  I made a spot for this empty bottle in my Craft Room.
Another thing I wanted to take time today - to update you all on - was some more Rooftop Garden/Container Garden updates!  On the right are two Dragons Tongue Bean plants BUT on the left is a container of Yard Long Beans that are crawling over and attaching themselves to the Dragons Tongue.  The Yard Long Beans are CRAZY HUGE!  They really can grow up to a YARD long!  Hence the name!  One of these days I will try and take a pic of me holding one so you can see just how long they really are!  They are so cool!
Here are some peppers we are having luck with now!  These are the Big Jim Peppers!  They are supposed to be mild to medium on the heat scale.  I think we will let them go a bit longer before picking because they can get to be between 7 and 10 inches long and I've read they also can turn red, too!  These are doing pretty well under our stairs in partial sun.

Questions of the Day...How was your weekend?  Do anything interesting?  How's your garden going and growing?  Any surprises there?  Have you tried Yardlong Beans or Big Jim Peppers?  What are your thoughts on those two produce picks?

Paying It Forward

One story I didn't share with you from last week was this...in the middle of everything going on with Riley's removal on his neck and then the MAJOR health issue Paco had been dealing with for a few weeks PLUS hubby's Crohn's being confirmed by a 2nd doctor...I was having a HELL of a week.  Before getting to work the one morning I decided to go to a local drive-thru where they have a few (vegan) bagel choices I sometimes go for when I'm short on time.  I decided to go thru their drive-thru.  I usually have them toast it but no butter or cheese.  I opt for a slice of tomato instead.  They are VERY accommodating!  ANYWAYS...I get up to pay and the girl told me my 'bill' was taken care of my the person in front of me.  I know this concept is nothing new but it's never happened to me.  That day my emotions couldn't handle everything and I was overwhelmed by the  kindness of a stranger I sort of FROZE - thanked the girl - drove away - and proceeded to BAWL my eyes out.  This simple act - with everything I had going on - I just couldn't BELIEVE it.  I was so thankful.  It's was so much that someone PAID for my breakfast that day but moreso that I had an angel of sorts that made me feel like someone out there understood I was having an emotional few weeks and I was at 'wits end'.  Regardless I was so taken back by it.  Less than a week later I decided to also Pay If Forward and go back to the same drive thru and do the same thing for someone behind me.  It felt good.  I'm going to continue to do that at least once a month in that same place.  I love doing nice things and try and do them often but it makes you really want to do more, too, when you aren't the only one who seems to care if you know what I mean.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chocolate Plum Shocker Smoothie

This is my 3rd post for today so be sure to scroll down for more Vegan MoFo Fun, too!

Check out this vegan smoothie I made for snack last night!  I have decided to name it "Chocolate Plum Shocker".  Here's the recipe...

2 Plums
3/4 of a Banana
1 Scoop of GoL's Chocolate Cacao Raw Protein
2 C Coconut Water
2 T Agave Nectar from Wholesome Sweeteners
3 Drops of Vanilla Stevia from NuNaturals

This was EPIC!  This has to be in my Top 5 Smoothie attempts thus far!  The flavor was WONDERFUL!


A few more reasons I like this product...

It’s not only what RAW Protein contains, it’s also about what it doesn’t contain – there are no fillers, no artificial flavors and no synthetic ingredients and it's gluten-free and dairy-free.
So for those looking for highly nutritious, nutrient-dense, easily digestible, high quality protein nutrition, look no further than RAW Protein from Garden of Life.

Easily Digestible?  YES, Please! 

Vegan MoFo ~ Rare Breakfast & Raw Vegan Cheese Sauce

For today's Vegan MoFo Post I wanted to blog about these two photos and NO I didn't eat them together! First - I have a breakfast bowl from the weekend.  I had crackers, figs, and sprouted and flavored nuts.  The reason this is rare for me is because it's very unusual for me to find FRESH figs in a store in my region.  I actually found them a few weeks ago at Orchard Fresh in Orchard Park, NY.  They were still FRESH because of my Berry Breeze.  I will be blogging about my Berry Breeze often because it works and I LOVE it!  So...I was super excited about this fresh figs and have been snacking on them since I bought them but also savoring them because I don't get them often.

As for this photo of the Raw Vegan Cheese Sauce I made I have to tell you I adore it!  The base recipe was from one of Philip McCluskey's books.  I posted it on Instagram and tagged Philip and he responded.  He's so nice!  Very encouraging!  Since I stayed quite close to his recipe and didn't stray much I won't put the exact recipe here on my blog but I will tell you that I used the following ingredients it in...Nutritional Yeast, Hemp Butter, Lemon Juice, Basil, Garlic, and Turmeric.

Again...I will be blogging throughout the day today and I encourage you to visit again!  This is my 2nd blog post of the day so far so please scroll down, too!  Thanks so much!

Tropical Dream Smoothie

I have a lot to post again today but I figured I would post a few things separately.  First up...this smoothie.  I'm calling it Tropical Dream.  

1 C Coconut Water
1 C Frozen Mango Cubes
1 Scoop of Garden of Life Vanilla Protein

WHY am I including this product in my food intake for today?  Mostly because I was looking for a creamy vanilla and I knew this would do the trick AND because of the Probiotic Potential.  I am going to try and 'up' my probiotics a bit every now and again.  This seemed like an easy way to throw it in a drink.  Other 'perks' of this product are...

  • Provides RAW organic sprouted protein and live probiotics and enzymes
  • Excellent source of protein – 17 grams and 33% Daily Value
  • Contains Vitamin Code RAW Food-Created Nutrients™ with their unique Code Factors™ intact, enabling natural recognition by your body
  • Increases the protein content of meals – just add to food or beverages
  • Suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets
  • Good for those on low carbohydrate diets
  • Alternative to soy and animal protein powders
  • Good for those with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey and other protein sources
  • Easily digested – supports digestive health and function with live probiotics and protein-digesting enzymes†
  • Mixes well – great in shakes, smoothies and other beverages

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vegan MoFo ~ Succotash & Scrambles

This is my 3rd post of the day today - scroll down for come updates on Paco and some Herbs I am considering a purchase or two on.

As for today's Vegan MoFo post...here it is!  Succotash & Scrambles, folks!

First up is this vegan Succotash that I made about a week ago or more for a potluck type picnic.  It contains a splash of Wildtree Garlic Dipping Oil (Grapeseed Oil Based), Sweet Corn, Sweet Red Bell Peppers, Lima Beans, and Basil.  At the end I added about 2 table spoons of Balsamic.  It was fantastic!
Next up I used leftovers to make this scramble not so long ago.  I had some leftover broccoli and some leftover salsa.  I mashed up some extra firm tofu that I 'browned' in a frying pan and there you have it...a meal all on its own!

Questions of the day...

What was the last thing you put in your scramble?

What's the last type of bean you cooked with?

Have you ever dried your own herbs?  If so which ones and for how long? 

My Blissful Journey in Buying Herb Powders & Extracts

I've always been interested in plant based powders and extracts - yes - herbs and herbal remedies.  I try to 'pick up' knowledge where ever I can.  In the past I have been buying a few herbs at a local store where I can buy some more common ones in bulk.  But there are a few extracts and powders that I cannot purchase from my local store and I was thinking about buying them from The Raw Food World.

I'm still doing research on them so I will hold off on actually purchasing them but the 5 that I am interested in at the moment are...

Moringa Leaf Extract - mostly for their joint pain relief, constipation relief, headache relief but also for the positive affects it has on arthritis and it helps boost the immune system.  It's also a good antioxidant and protects cells from damage.  When applied to skin it's a germ killer, astringent, helps heal infections, wounds, athlete's foot, gums, and more!

Turmeric Extract - I've used the powder MANY times in cooking.  the extract is a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.  It's cancer fighting, heart healthy, also helps with IBS, kidneys, and cardiovascular systems.  PLUS it's a great natural coloring in curry, mustard, and cheeses and I think I can use it to put some color in my salad dressings and vegan cheeses, for example!

Cissus Quadrangularis - I haven't heard much about this one YET but think it's popularity will be on the rise because it's a good pain reliever, it heals bones quicker, and is high in Vitamin C.

Gotu Kola - is a fighter against cold and flu and is anti-bacterial/viral/parasitic.  It helps heal wounds, circulation problems, varicose veins, blood clots in legs, and when applied to skin reduces scars and stretch marks.

Amla Extract - is among the lower on my list of priorities to pursue at the moment...from these 5 I've listed in this blog post that is...but I;m still considering it because it's a stomach pain reliever, helps with joint pain, kills germs, reduces pain and swelling, and even helps with eye problems.

If you are interested in any of these extracts and powders - click on affiliate link on the upper sidebar and it will take you to The Raw Food World where almost ALL of these are currently on sale...some with EXTREME discounts.  I'm very tempted to buy some - if not all - of these 5 I've mentioned here on my blog.  Let me know if you are a fan of them or are interested in other herbs, extracts, or powders.  I'd love to get some conversation going about home remedies and I KNOW a few of you are into them - so start the chatter in comments!

Paco Update!

I have a lot to cover today at My Blissful Journey.  First off - I'm happy to report that Paco is improving!  Last week I mention he was diagnosed with IMHA which stands for Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.  BUT...in fact he's been diagnosed with ITP instead.  ITP stands for Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia.

They are similar diseases being that they both attack their own systems and that they are both immune diseases.  The difference being - in short - is that IMHA - is when the Red Blood Cells are being attacked and ITP is when the Platelets are being attacked.

When we took him in last Tuesday his Platelet count was at 9.  Thursday the count was at 3.  This is VERY bad.  Anything under 200 is bad.  We took him in for blood test again yesterday after him being on VERY limited activity for the long weekend while at home with us.  He was at the vet for 3 days prior to that.  His Platelet Count yesterday was 468.  YAY!!!!  Eventho he's 'out of the woods' he's still not up to par.  With ITP there is a long recovery time.  Right now they are shooting for 4 months on meds.  Maybe even 6 months.  OR...maybe even the rest of his life.  BUT we are VERY pleased that his counts jumped that much over the long weekend.  We could be more happy!  Thank you everyone for their positive vibes, prayers, thoughts, etc.  I believe they helped make a difference!  Thanks again!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Vegan Mofo ~ Leftovers & Multiple Dishes

Since I didn't blog yesterday - today is my first Vegan MoFo Post of 2014!  Happy Vegan MoFo!

I have a lot of things to blog about but want to hold off on the updates on Paco since we have another appointment later today.  I do want to THANK everyone who has sent well wishes, vibes, prayers, thoughts, and such!  I appreciate it so much, thank you! 

Jumping in with this first post for Vegan MoFo - I want to talk about using left overs as well as using a food that I have used in a multiple dishes this past weekend.

It officially started with a Chickpea Salad that I had made using Chickpeas, Chipotle Vegan Mayo, and Pickle Relish.  Even tho I don't have a photo of that - it was simple and it made a large batch.  I had a couple of sandwiches out of it as well as a side dish.  I then decided to take it one step further and made this mash out of it...I added the leftover Chickpea Salad to cooked zucchini and tomatoes that I did on stove top with a little Garlic Grapeseed Oil and a little Dill.  I combined the leftovers with the newly made dish here.  That was another meal.  From there I made some baked tofu as you can see in the first photo.  I used Hemp Oil and some Wildtree California Garlic Pepper as the seasoning.  It turned out pretty awesome. 

I snacked on the baked tofu.  But then I added it to the leftover mash combo for another meal idea. 

But I didn't stop there!  I then cooked up about 1/4 C of Red Quinoa and added the final leftovers to yet another meal.  You can see this photo below.  I have to say I was very impressed with myself.  Getting multiple meals out of leftovers but also creating new meals as well as new leftovers and then new meals from those leftovers!

I am not the best at re-thinking meals using leftovers.  I usually just use them as-is and eat them as straight-up leftovers.  But I want to take that to the next level.  I know we shouldn't eat the same thing over and over - we need to get a diverse diet with different foods and different food combos.  But at the same time I don't want to waste food.  That's another reason why I want to push myself in the leftover department.  This may be a sub-category to my 2014 Vegan MoFo Adventure.  But I want to stick with my annual theme and blog about new-to-me foods and recipes, too, so you will be seeing a lot of that here on my blog this month!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Raw Food World Shipment Thoughts

Last week I received my last shipment from The Raw Food World and here are the highlights from that shipment.  In this first photo you will see I have 2 Parma! products.  I have never tried them because I don't have them in my region.  There was a 'problem' with the Garlicky Green one and they replaced it PRIORITY MAIL which was awesome!  It's been a while since I have looked into purchasing Kelp and when I saw this one shaker seasoning that had a Cayenne kick to it I knew I had to try it!  The Lemon Pecan Fig Bars were not necessary but more of a treat to myself.  I must say they are wonderful.  I shared with 2 of my co-workers and still have some of it left.  They are super rich and flavorful so a little nibble goes a long way.  I bought some more Freeze Dried Mangosteen for my mom.  You may remember reading previously how much she loved them so I wanted to make sure I bought some for her to support her new love.  I wanted to grab some Sun Dried Persimmons for a few reasons.  One because they are a product I can't get around here even on my best attempt and two because they were straight from Ojai, California.  And next to those you can see I scored some Adzuki Bean Spaghetti.  I have tried the Black Bean and enjoyed it and still have some.  Christine over at the Raw Project has been blogging about her attempts with this brand of pasta, too!  Right now over at The Raw Food World they have the Mung Bean, Black Bean, and Soy Bean Pastas for $4.99 - last month they were $3.49, I think.  RIGHT NOW you can get the Adzuki Bean Pasta over at The Raw Food World for $3.49!!!  Woot!  Take a look at my sidebar for the affiliate link if you want to check it out more!
Next up...I wanted to get some Apricots and Peaches for my Dad.  He tried them but they were 'too dried' for what he was looking for.  He's completely in to the Pineapple I blogged about before so now I will now to get him more of that when I place orders.  As for the HUGE batches of Peaches and Apricots I will most likely be using them in recipes and maybe snacking on them from time to time, too.   I have been sharing my shipments of Cashews with my sister so I had to get more.  AND it had been a while since I had Red Quinoa on hand so I included some of that in my last order, too.  That AND the Red Quinoa was one of their At-Cost Specials last month.  So now my pantry is all stocked up again!  YAY!
So...yeah...now I'm a little addicted to buying more Raw Food Books.  These are my latest additions to my collection.  The Philip McCluskey ones are a little thinner but I have been thumbing thru them quite a bit and have tweaked a few Salad Dressing ideas that he has in them and they are great.  I can see myself using them often.  I'm not really into desserts since going dairy-free but I figured I would TRY a few and that book in the center really looked interesting.  Then...I have been overly into Matthew Kinney's books and wanted to get two more...his flavor combos and photos are amazing!

Furkids/Family Medical Updates & Timeline

If you read my post yesterday you will see that Paco is not doing well.  He was diagnosed with IMHA.  We are very worried.  He's currently at the vet hospital getting aggressive steroids and fluids.  I've been doing a lot of reading and research on the disease and it's NOT good.  Even if he pulls thru - it will be a long and tricky recovery.  It's so frustrating because other than the rash on his stomach he was NOT showing any other symptoms of the disease.  Perhaps that is a positive thing - meaning we caught it early - and he will do better than the majority of other cases I have been reading about.  Right now it's a waiting game and I almost can't handle that.

Last night I went thru the last 8 months in my head and put it all together...I can't believe (the following) all happened in the last 8 months with all 5 of our furkids...Suzie had two fatty tumors removed - her stitches popped and it set her back for a few weeks.  We lost our precious Gabby to Liver Cancer and that was totally unexpected.  Charlie had a wound that would not heal on his tail and he had to have his tail amputated.  Riley - just last week - had to have a large portion of skin removed from his neck and has a double ear infection that we are still treating.  6 days later - this has happened with Paco...I took him in for what I thought was a rash and it ended up being IMHA.  All this in 8 months.

In addition...my  husband has been having stomach issues for about a year and a half.  Yesterday (while everything was going on with Paco) he was out of town for more tests and procedures and it was confirmed a 2nd time - but by a specialist this time - that he does, in fact, have Crohn's Disease.

Yesterday completely sucked.  BUT...it's NOT a home without Fur-Kids.  And at least my husband now knows that it IS Crohn's Disease.  It's something he will have for the rest of his life but it's manageable.  Now if we can just get some more answers on what to do next for him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No! My Dear Paco!

This morning I took Paco into the vet for what I thought was a rash and instead he was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.  He's at the vet until Thursday to be monitored closely.  It's critical that he doesn't get injured in any way.  He's platelets are currently at 9...which is REALLY low...near nil.  This is terrifying me!  He's only 3 years old!  He's been acting completely fine.  No other symptoms other than the red dots on his hips.  From what I have read 20 to 40 percent of IMHA dogs either die from the disease or the treatments that may or may not cause clotting.  I'm in complete shock about this.  I feel like I got hit with a mack truck.  I just want him to be home on my lap.  PLEASE send any prayers/thoughts/vibes my way!  I would appreciate it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vegan Zombie Crew - Part 2

HEY!  Check this out!  The Vegan Zombie Tweeted about this post!  Thanks guys! 
About a week after the WNY VegFest I sent a 'thank you' email over to the guys for taking a good 15 minutes or more to chat with my sister and I.  They wrote back!  YAY!  They also linked to the post linked above on their social media!  These guys are cool!
I've been waiting to post these photos but now seems like the perfect time!  Here's the book I bought from them when I met them :) And they signed it inside.  One of the first things I made was their "Cheese Sauce" and I put it on some mac...I used Brown Rice Pasta, actually...here's what it looked like and it was oh-so-tasty!
Another recipe that is in this book is one I did a while back based on an older video of theirs.  It was their Lasagna Rolls and they were super good, too!  But I was very excited to see they included that recipe in this cookbook!  I told my sister I thought she would really like that one.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Random Vegan Creations & Pear Walnut Balsamic PIZZA

I had a message from a reader of the site that checks-in often but rarely-if-ever-comments asking if I could post more of my vegan food creations.  She mentioned that she enjoys the other daily living posts but missed the vegan foods I use to post.  No Problemo!  The reason I haven't been adding as many to the site is because I haven't been all that creative in the kitchen as of late.  I have been throwing together a bunch of things or referring back to old favorites.  BUT...here are some random foods I haven't posted about yet.  First up is this Vegan Cheese Sauce.  It turned out WONDERFULLY!  I can't wait to make more!  And YES...I poured it over top of Grits!  
Here's the Recipe:

2 C Raw Cashews
1/2 C Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tea Garlic Powder
1/2 C Almond Milk
1 T SeaClear (Fermented Kelp Chlorella Miso)*

To purchase SeaClear CLICK HERE.  The ingredients include: Organic non-GMO soy and barley miso, raw apple cider vinegar, fermented kelp (Kombu), Chlorella, Tumeric, Black pepper.  But you could also just use your favorite Miso, too!

Not too long ago I made some Chickpea Sandwich Spread...with a twist!  Here's that recipe:

2 C Chickpeas
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1/4 C Chopped Walnuts
1/2 T Wildtree Garlic Garlore (or Minced Garlic)

This was tasty, too, and I have found myself craving more.  I wasn't sure if I would like the walnuts and cranberries in there but they were REALLY great!

And finally...we had to go to Erie for my husband to see a Crohn's Specialist...afterwards we went for lunch at a place called The Public House.  They had some veganizable foods on their menu which was very neat and I opted for this.  It's one of their pizzas that I had them 'hold' the cheese on.  The other ingredients I kept on were the baked pears, onions, walnuts, and balsamic and it was pretty darn awesome!  I've never had anything quite like it but I would LOVE to have it again!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interested Animals & Container Garden Progress

I'm still doing a little bit of catch-up with posts.  I figured today I would do a few collages of two subjects and combine the blog post.  This first photo collage is of some of my favorite animals from the fair a few weeks ago.  The two birds I just LOVED the colors of the feathers and they were so cool.  Their temporary living quarters were very clean and of the most spacious I have seen.  The Rabbits had their whole family there and chillin' in their own pen area.  They were precious!  This horse was nodding off while standing...or maybe just blinking...but it was cute and I LOVED the brown and white color combo and spots!
I've been trying to update you all on the Container Garden and Rooftop Garden Progress!  Well, here is some more!  The Dragon's Tongue Beans have been a real hit this year!  We've had great luck with those!  We are already sure we are going to do them again next year!  I'm almost wondering if we can do them year-round indoors...we might try!  Then the other two photos here are of the Brussel Sprouts!  We have one that is doing REALLY well.  Another one that is doing ok.  And the other two are up-in-the-air.  I think we might pull one of them today.  I think the branches are too close to grow the sprouts and they aren't really sprouting much.  But we are very excited about the ones that have 'nubs' on them - like the ones you see here!
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Riley's Cone

I thought I would throw a quick blog post up about Riley's day yesterday.  Yup!  He's wearing a cone!  The night before we noticed a lump on his throat and long story short we were able to get him in to see a vet the next morning without having to wait.  After losing Gabby not that many month ago I was worried something major was going to be wrong with Riley.  BUT...I'm happy to report that the lump we found was a larger equivalent of a 'skin tag' and was removed without having to put him under. The vet was able to numb the area and clip it from his skin and he only required a few stitches.  They are telling us that his re-coop time should only be 14 days.  We were relieved and very happy it wasn't something major.  He also has another ear infection but he's had chronic ear infections his whole life so we are more than used to treating those.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Basil, Orange Peppers, and Tomatoes - Progress, Sort of...

These are 5 gallon buckets.  In these 5 gallon buckets are Basil plants!  The Basil Plants are about 3 and a half feet high so far.  I honestly can't believe how much basil these - once small plants - produced this year!!!  I know they usually do well - but had no idea they would do THIS well!

I'm very excited about this!  I have already done a few different pesto's out of the leaves I have plucked.  I hope to do more and very soon!

I will surely log - here on my blog - more about my near-future pesto adventures.

I think I might try and juice some and maybe add some to a few green smoothies, too, since I have so much!

But WAIT...there's more!  Yup!  You see correctly!  That's a 3rd basil plant!  This one isn't as big as the other two but still a very good sized plant. 

Oddly, this is the Basil plant I thought was NOT going to make it but it ended up pulling thru just fine!

In front you can see some of our cucumber plants.  They were slow at the start but I think we might see a few - thru to the end!

There are some Contender Beans next to the Basil - in this photo - as well.  We thought we were going to lose all of those, too, but we were able to save 2 of them.  One feel off and started growing next to it - in between the one Contender Bean and the Basil plant - all on it's own!

We've been picking them as they are ready and munching on them as snack - while at work!
This is a photo I took of our one sweet orange bell pepper last week but I'm happy to report that it's even more orange today.  The leaves are a little limp but we worked in some more soil and such to see if that helped.  I think a few bags of soil we bought were crappy.  One had too much 'wood' and the other was like mud/cement.  Live and learn - I guess, eh!?

Next year we will know not even to try the root veggies and I think we will nix the broccoli next year, too!  Eventho our broccoli plant was HUGE - it seemed to take MONTHS and ended up not producing ANYTHING.  Oh well.  This year was our first year and we will apply that to following years and go from there.

It was slow-going or should I say slow-GROWING with our Rosalita Lettuce but we were able to get a few of them to produce some greens.  We learned if we let them go too long they produce weird 'shoots'.

It's been VERY 'hit and miss' with our tomato attempts so far.  We have these two and another one that seem to be doing well but that's about it. 

Next year we might not do tomatoes.

We really tried to bring these guys back from the 'brink' with a little bit of 'lime' that Sam's father gave us.

I'm hopeful with our 3 Sunflowers - more on those in the near future - fingers crossed!

We might try and experiment with indoor container growing in off season months, too.  Nothing major just a few things we can try in the front room that has large windows.

I know there seem to be a lot of things that aren't really going our way but I want to keep trying!  There are other things that we are having success with - I assure you!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mouse Melon Progress

Take a look at the Mouse Melon Progress on our Rooftop Container Garden at work! 

I have to say I'm so excited that Sam brought one of these in for us to grow!  It's doing so well!  We've munched on a few that have matured but I'm certain there are a lot more on the way! 

Mouse Melon - or - Melothria scabra is a vine grown for its edible fruit. Fruit are about the size of grapes and taste like cucumbers with a tinge of sourness. Vernacular names include mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, cucamelon, Mexican miniature watermelon and Mexican sour cucumber.  This plant is native to Mexico and Central America, where it is called sandiita (little watermelon). It is believed to have been a domesticated crop before western contact began.

These plants are slow-growing when they are establishing themselves, but can eventually grow up to ten feet under proper conditions. They are drought resistant and pest-resistant due.

Similar to the cucumber, these plants produce both male and female flowers. These plants can fertilize themselves, but the flowers are not self-fertile. Flowers are small and yellow, about four millimeters in diameter. Fruits develop at the base of the female flower.

Our tomatoes aren't doing very well but we might see 3 of them.  Some of the peppers are doing ok and some aren't...more progress on those down the road, too!  We have 2 solid Brussel Sprout Plants 'happening' and I will post about that soon, too!  As well as others!

Let me know how your garden is doing!!!!

Vegan Fair Food

A few weeks ago Christine over at The Raw Project posted about some of the Vegan Fair Food items she recently found at her local fair.  Not too long ago I did the same thing.  During our county fair - not only is my husband there for about a week and a half because he's a fair board director - but we also have 10 LIVE broadcast remotes in 5 days - for the radio stations I work at.  PLUS I like to volunteer in between so it's a VERY busy week - and then some.

The cafe that is run by volunteers and benefits the fair made a custom salad for me made with every veggie they had on hand and I did salsa for the dressing!  This was a HUGE salad!  I was so thankful for them doing this
for me!

The first day everyone was there and settled in there was the annual Media Lunch.  The only thing I had was these green beans.  Thankfully they were 'naked'.  No butter or other ingredients so they gave me a HUGE plate-full.  They were super fresh, tasty, and surprisingly filling.

I wasn't the only one with a plate full of Green Beans - a friend of mine who was Gluten Free (but not veg) thought it was safer to just eat 'green' that day, too!

I was lucky because I knew the girl who did the meals for the entertainment - such as Tyler Farr, Lorrie Morgan, and Joe Diffie - and their crews. 

She saved some items for me or let me grab a quick munchie in between things we had going on.  This was one of them...CORN...it was pretty good...even on day 2.  Other items consisted of mostly FRUIT which was completely fine by me!  I was grateful for the strawberries and cantaloupe.  She even grabbed me some Broccoli, too!   And she was so nice to even bring me some cherry tomatoes from her garden!

There was a booth there who did 'from scratch' strawberry shortcakes.  Instead of the strawberry shortcakes - I just had the fresh strawberries - everyone was so willing and helpful to make exceptions - all I had to do was ask - most of the time!

PLUS...a friend of ours was camping there and she brought me 2 HUGE bowls of fresh cut watermelon that week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Vegan Food Trucks & Food at WNY VegFest

This post rounds up the rest of my WNY VegFest chatter and photos.  As you can tell I had a great time.  Today I want to share with you the photos from the food stations, tables, and trucks!

Starting off with this one...The Whole Hog!  Eventho The Whole Hog is a food truck that serves the Buffalo and Western New York area with foods using meat raised locally and supporting local farms - they can also go vegan when the opportunity arises!   For the VegFest this truck went Vegan on Sunday!  I was VERY tempted by almost everything on this list and REALLY wanted to try it but by the time my sister and I got back over and ordered the race was done and this truck was PACKED with potential customers.

Of course my sister LOVED this truck since it was PINK.  She's a PINK Freak...I for one...can't stand the color pink...but I WAS very interested in what they were serving!

After Googling the company they have a domain but I wasn't able to view it so I decided NOT to link it.  Maybe down the road, tho!

We took a few steps to the right and went to this truck instead.

They were more of a vendor type truck but they did have options!  The line was shorter so we opted for PIZZA. 

They used Tofurky Products for the most part.

My sister had a Veggie Pizza - it didn't have cheese but it did have TONS of Broccoli, Onions, and Black Olives on it.  She said she REALLY liked it.


I ended up ordering a slice of the Taco Pizza.  Mostly because I don't remember having Taco Pizza as a vegan or even as a lacto/lacto-ovo veg prior.

They used Daiya Cheese, Tofurky for the Taco 'meat', and a nice sauce with some black olives.  Eventho I was really hungry when I first started eating this slice I was completely full when I finished it.  It was VERY filling!

Because my sister isn't vegetarian I thought pizza was a good option.  She's fairly open to other foods, tho, and does eat vegetarian meals more than most people I know who are not vegetarian.  She tried a bite of mine and said she liked it, too!

The Food Table & Tent was PACKED, too!  Which is a GREAT thing for the festival but not-so-great if you had a 2 hour trip back like we did so that's another reason why we went with the Pizza.  Next year I really want to try one of the food companies featured in this tent, tho!  I spoke with a few of the people when they were setting up and one of the store owners told me about her place, asked if I was a blogger, and invited me to stop by their location in Orchard Park.  I think at some point I just might try and do that!

One of the many places I wanted to try - but wasn't able to - was this Indian Food Table.  I didn't see a sign with the company's name but they had some decent prices.  I regret not getting in line specifically for their Samosa's.  My sister doesn't do fried foods because of her stomach issues so one of these days her and I will have to try and make some and bake them instead.  I think she would really like Samosa's.
GoVeggies was another section and they featured about a half dozen of their from-scratch veggie burgers that were all vegan.  They also had some spring rolls incase you weren't into veggie burgers. 

Last  time I was in town I saw that they were moving and wasn't able to catch them while they were open. 

After checking out their website I noticed they are now located in Tonawanda.  I want to do a day trip and visit soon!

I'm totally digging their 100% Vegan Menu!

Again, I'm so grateful that I was FINALLY able to attend a VegFest that was within driving distance.  I'm also thankful for my sister for making the trip with me eventho she's not vegetarian!  I hope to go to more in the future and I REALLY hope that Western New York has them each year now.  For the rest of this week I will be catching up on Fair Week posts and I'm starting to 'bank roll' some food posts for next week, too!  Another thing I want to start doing are "Happy Emails".  I want to start sending 3 short Thank You Emails or Happy Emails each week to not only try and brighten someone's day but to give credit where credit is due!  I think I will start off next week with notes to WNY VegFest as well as the Vegan Zombie Crew!