Day:14: Leftovers, vegan pizza, and lots of fun!

We chalked up a W for thanksgiving (my football team and our cooking).  It does not matter if you are vegan or an extreme carnivore, the day after thanksgiving is characterized by a smorgasbord of leftovers!

Shelby spent the night and I woke her and Danielle up to the sound of the Vitamix blender roaring at full throttle.  This is a great way to get everyone up and going in the morning!  However I might have woken some of the neighbors up as well.  Heck, everyone deserves to get an early start to the day!

So after a delicious smoothie we were off to the beach.  The waves were pretty good as they were the day before.  I would call it about 6 to 8 foot at Blacks Beach with some 10 foot clean up sets.

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Blacks Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! It also happens to be one of the best beach breaks in the world.  The only catch is you have to walk down a very steep cliff for 20 minutes to get there.  They also have a road for the cautious which is also very steep.  After walking down, surfing, and then walking back up, we were all pretty hungry.

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We decided to go to our friend Kevin’s restaurant in La Jolla.  It’s called Extreme Pizza.  We had the Pandoras box.  It has spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, garlic, fresh basil, oregano and mozzarella (tomato sauce upon request, no charge).  We substituted soy cheese for the feta and mozzarella and added tomato sauce and it was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!  Better than all of the pizzas that I have had with regular cheese on them.  All of the ingredients tasted so fresh and powerful.  If your in La Jolla check it out- LaJolla.extremepizza.com

Kevin has an aeroponics system on his patio that grows a lot of the vegetables that he uses as ingredients on his pizzas.

For all of you that have never seen an aeroponic systems before, check it out…

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It is like hydroponics but instead of having a tray that the plants sit in and the water and nutrients ebb and flows, the plants are planted up the tower and their roots are all growing down the center cylinder.  A pump then brings the water and nutrients up from the reservoir to the top of the tower and drips it down on the roots.  It can be operated nearly maintenance free with timers.  All you have to do is add water and nutrients. Very cool.  It is a great way to conserve space as well.

We were excited about dinner all day.  We knew we had a lot of yummy leftovers to work with.  Danielle pan fried some toast with a little olive oil.  Then she heated up the potatoes, carrots, onions, and turkey-less roast, and put it over the toast.  Finally she poured the heated up gravy over it all for a fantastic, southern style, open-faced sandwich.  My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.  I bet yours is too! We gobbled it down with out saving room for desert, but then we ate pumpkin pie.

I know that Danielle already talked about the pumpkin pie.  However, words can not do this recipe justice.  I love pie!  I would put money on the fact that anybody who knows their pie and tried some of this pie would fall in love.  Imagine regular pumpkin pie, only with way more significant flavors.  We talked earlier about how ginger helps the assimilation of nutrients in our bodies.  It also is believed in Ayurvedic circles that it creates a strong synergy with all the nutrients it is combined with.  In other words it makes the nutrients work together to create something bigger than themselves.  I think it also creates a synergy of ingredients and the way that they taste.   I could taste each ingredient as I euphorically dissected the flavors of this amazing new pumpkin pie.  Each so distinct and rich.  Thank you Danielle!  You shall forever cook our pies!  I am a happy man!  Chalk up another W!

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Day 10: A world of possibilities

So many people think that becoming a vegan, even just cutting out meat from ones diet, drastically reduces the amount of options that you have when choosing what you are going to eat.   I think that this is a terrible misconception.  The truth is that there are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, roots, and other whole foods that you and I have never even heard of.  The abundance of natural food on earth is incredible!  In becoming vegan, Danielle and I have exercised our creativity when it comes to cooking and thus diversified what we are consuming.  The variety of food that we’re eating has increased so dramatically!  We are having so much fun exploring all of these wonderful foods that we only dabbled in or did not even know existed before.

So yesterday we ate Oatmeal Cranberry pancakes again.  If you have been following our blogs then you have already seen that recipe.  We already told you how good they taste. Our eating them again is testament too that.

For Lunch and dinner we ate my new favorite dish.  I had a feeling it was going to be fantastic, so when Danielle was putting the recipe together she said I’ll just double it for 4 servings.  I said why don’t we quadruple that sucker!  Thats just what we did!

Whole-Wheat Macaroni & Sweet Potato Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked noodles (according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 baked sweet potato
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil for crust

In a medium-sized bowl combine the sweet potato half, juice of half a lemon, mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Fold 1 cup of cooked noodles into the sweet potato “cheese”.

Place the mixture into a serving-size baking dish.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast over the dish and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. This will allow the top to crisp while cooking.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Serve and enjoy!

It tasted like normal Macaroni and cheese, but with way more distinct flavors.  If I were to eat as much regular Mac n cheese as I did this, I would have had to sit on the couch for an hour afterwards.  Danielle and I both felt great!   I heated up some today and it was just as marvelous!

We found out today that our apartment managers are going to release us from the lease early because of all of the issues that we have had.  I am not going to get into all of that, but this definitely means that we will commence on our expedition across the country in about 10 days!  We are getting so excited!  It will include but is not limited to…

Big Sur

Santa Cruz

San Francisco

Wine tasting in Napa

Yosemite if the weather permits

Hiking in Utah

Josh Garrels concert in Boulder Colorado

honky tonk with Paul Secord

we are bringing our Vitamix and our juicer!

Stay tuned!

We will absolutely keep you guys posted on that!

Day 6: We are really enjoying this!

Last night was officially our last night selling hot dogs! We sold our hot dog cart company to a great couple who we believe will do well with the business.  And it was an absolute burden lifter.  It was so difficult cooking bacon, hot dogs, and sausages, with cream cheese and shredded cheese for hours and selling something that we really no longer believed in.  What we were doing was supporting the problem.  Now it will be a lot easier to concentrate on this very enjoyable and challenging adventure we have set out on.  Ok lets get to the food… Before preparing breakfast (not cooking) I looked at our meal planner and realized that the peaches and cream recipe was not going to be the one. The bananas were ripe and I had to use at least one.  So now, with all of my experience with the vitamix, I felt comfortable throwing my own recipe together.  This is what I came up with.

Travis’ all fruit Smoothie

1 perfectly ripe banana peeled

1 orange peeled

1 clementine peeled

1 1/2 cups of organic mixed berries (frozen)

Directions:  Put a half cup of water in blender, add all ingedients, no ice because of frozen berries, and then hit the smoothie setting, which is probably about a 4 on the variable speed setting if you do not have the new machine.

It was nothing short of magical.  And believe it or not, we are still eating almond butter and honey on organic whole wheat flax seed bread, and it still tastes amazing!  We have more left still! We made a lot the first day!

After breakfast we showered and went to run some errands.  After shopping for a while we were hungry again.  We stumbled on a restaurant called true foods.  We figured we would give it a try.  We ordered a teriyaki tofu and asian vegetable bowl with organic whole wheat rice.  It was extremely yummy!  It even showed up my tofu bowl!  However I assured myself and Danielle that if I had the organic whole wheat rice that my bowl would have been as good or better.  Regardless, this restaurant gets two thumbs up from us!  They had a herb garden on wheels at the door!

We went home and worked on getting rid of some things and selling others to prepare us for our move and trip across country.  We are both getting really excited! I also ate some left overs from last night to hold me over.   After a couple hours, wouldn’t ya know- we were hungry again.  So we decided to try a different variation on the tortilla soup.  It is and was as follows.

Vegan Tortilla Soup1 yellow or zucchini squash, cut in large chunks
1 carrot, scrubbed and cut in large chunks
1 stalk celery, cut in large chunks
1 fresh tomato, or 1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/4 fresh onion
1/2 bell pepper or 3 small bell peppers
1 garlic clove or 1 T fresh minced garlic
1 wedge cabbage
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 vegetable boullion cube or 1 T vegetable boullion powder
3 cups boiling water (I did this in a teapot)
1 T taco seasoning1/2 can corn
1/2 can black beans (drained)
1 cup tortilla chips

Place all ingredients except last three in Vita-Mix. Secure lid and turn machine on Low, then increase to High. Run for 3-4 minutes until steam escapes through lid opening. Reduce speed to Low. Remove lid and drop in corn, black beans, and chips. Run for an additional 10 seconds. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 servings.

It turned out a bit frothy, but tasted good!  We have yet to perfect this dish.  We have decided that we will go back and find the vitamix salesperson and watch them make it again.  The frothiness might have been the result of using broth instead of bullion.  Next time we will use bullion.  Nevertheless we both slurped up every drop from our bowl, and we have a lot left over.
Danielle had a headache this morning and had to take some Ibruprofen.  Rene, our health counselor and Danielle’s step mom, advised us that this is a normal withdraw symptom.  Her and Skip, Danielle’s dad told us we need to drink plenty of water.  We have always done this, but I think that with the current state of detoxification of our bodies we need to drink even more!  After all nobody has ever overdosed on water.
We watched a throw back surf flick- called SHELTER. Highly recommended. We watched another great documentary tonight on Netflix called FOOD MATTERS.  It was excellent.  We gave it five stars.  Netflix is so much better that T.V.
Thanks for following us on our journey!  Tomorrow  morning I am going to make an acai bowl!
Good night!