I apologize to all of our blog followers, We have been moving and haven’t been able to keep up with the blog. We were dealing with packing, moving company, and another sewage overflow. It is so amazing to free ourselves … Continue reading
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.
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.
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…
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!
Wow! I don’t even know where to start! This was our very first Thanksgiving being away from family in Virginia Beach. We woke up and counted our blessings. So thankful for many things. God has been beyond amazing to us this year. It was a great day and we made the most out of it! It began with volunteering at our church in San Diego, Horizon, with the homeless people. It was an amazing experience. Being with the needy on Thanksgiving is a tradition for us now and we really felt great helping others.
After church, we came home and I began cooking up our Thanksgiving meal. Turkey-less roast from Trader Joes. It was the most interesting looking thing I have ever seen! Here is the box..
I am not going to lie, Travis and I felt very nervous about this, but we wanted to try it out! We are all about being open minded… so we bought it! I cut up carrots, potatoes, and celery and through some seasonings in with it and this is what it looked like before going into the oven…
I put it in the oven for 60 minutes and then began making the CLEAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE. Wow! I found this website at:
Let me tell you… it was unbelievable how long the process took to make it ( I am so use to making the processed, bad for you, green bean casserole out cans and throwing it in the oven )… this bad boy took me about 45 minutes to just prepare to be put into the oven, but let me tell you, it was worth it!!!! Here is the recipe:
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, or butter
- 2 cups parsnips, chopped
- 10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1½ cups water
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 lb. fresh green beans
- Melt a pat of coconut oil, or butter, in a large skillet and add the sliced onions. Saute gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Use a splash of water, as needed, to prevent sticking. Once the onions are tender and golden in color, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl for later.
- While the onions are cooking, you’ll have plenty of time to steam the parsnips. Fit a steamer basket into a saucepan, and fill with one inch of water. Add the 2 cups of chopped parsnips, and bring the water to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low, steaming for about 8 minutes, or until the parsnips are easily pierced with a fork. Transfer the steamed parsnips to your blender container, and set it aside.
- Using the same steamer basket and saucepan, break the pound of fresh green beans into one-inch pieces, and toss them into the steamer basket. Bring to a boil, then cover and steam for 6-8 minutes, until the green beans are bright green with a bit of crunch. Transfer the cooked green beans to an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish.
- *Note: At this point, cook the green beans to be as tender as you like– if you prefer them softer, steam them longer. The baking process later will not make them any more tender, so this is your chance to achieve the texture you like.
- Once the onions have finished caramelizing, you can use the same pan to saute the mushrooms and garlic. Melt another pat of coconut oil or butter, and saute the garlic for about 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 6 minutes, until liquid is released from the mushrooms.
- Spread half of the mushroom mixture into the baking dish of green beans, and pour the other half of the mixture, along with any liquid, into the blender container with the steamed parsnips.
- Into that blender container, add 1½ cups water, 1½ teaspoons sea salt and ¼ cup of nutritional yeast to the cooked parsnips and mushrooms. Blend until smooth and creamy. (This mixture may be a bit salty to taste at this point, but keep in mind that it will be diluted when it’s poured over a pound of green beans!)
- Pour the creamy sauce over the green beans and mushrooms in the glass baking dish, and stir to coat well. (You may very well have more sauce than you need for this recipe– I only used about 1½ cups to coat the vegetables well. Save the rest for a future dish!)
- Smooth the creamy vegetable mixture with a spatula, and top with the caramelized onions to finish.
- *At this point, you could cover the dish and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to heat and serve.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm and enjoy!
I followed everything word for word in this recipe, except I cut it in half because it was just Travis, me, and our friend Shelby. It ended up being wonderful! I highly suggest it! It is so fresh tasting and everything in it that I used was organic and fresh out of the garden this week! Amazing stuff! The nutritional yeast really made it creamy and it made me feel satisfied all the way.
Here is the table before we ate…
Shelby, our friend, came over for dinner and was a bit scared ( just like we were ) to try a full Vegan meal for Thanksgiving. WE ALL LOVED IT! I couldn’t believe how good it was.The gravy was exquisite! I am a huge homemade gravy gal, I need to figure out how to make it homemade. It came in the Trader Joe’s set. Not only was it flavorful, but it was HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS! I am the first to tell if something did not turn out well. I must say, I am still in complete shock about it all. We were just super excited…
Then it was time for PUMPKIN PIE…
I found the recipe from here: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/tofupumpkinpie.htm
THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE WE HAVE EVER HAD!! I switched a few things up because it was suggested in one of the reviews… it turned out perfect!!! Here it is…
FABULOUS Vegan Pumpkin Pie:
- 3/4 pound silken (soft) tofu
- 1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp molasses
- 1 pre-made pie crust
Combine all ingredients, except for pie crust, in a food process or blender and process until smooth. Pour into pie crust.
Bake for one hour.
Chill before serving and top with whipped cream or non-dairy whipped cream if desired.
This is what I changed: I added 2 tbps of honey and used firm tofu drained. I also used a total of 30 oz of plain organic pumpkin in the can. The honey gave it just enough kick to remove the soy after taste. I also added two tbsp of cornstarch to the mix. I placed all of my ingredients into my blender on liquify to make it completely smooth.
TRAVIS WAS SO SHOKED! This is his favorite pie, this time of year. He gives it 5 stars! I highly suggest trying it out : )
We had a great Thanksgiving, missed family and friends back home so so much, but it will be one we remember forever… a Thanksgiving made of compassion, love, and a VEGAN meal : )
Today was a great day. We woke up to a very potent and tasty juice. Ill call it..
Danielle’s Ginger Carrot Apple Juice
a chunk of ginger root the size of an egg.
Directions: Put all ingredients into the juicer and enjoy!
Wooooooooooooow!!!!!!!! This drink was strong. I had a buzz after drinking it. It had enough zing in it to knock down a horse! It was a great way to start off the day.
Ginger is one of the healthiest foods on this planet! I did some research on Ayurveda a while back which is an ancient Indian health and healing science. It literally means in sanskrit “the science of life.” They regard ginger as one of the most important foods in health and healing. They still use it in everyday life very extensively. They use it to treat ailments and illnesses as well as for preventative health. Hear are some stats on Ginger taken from the following website…
10 Terrific Benefits of Ginger
1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.
2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.
4. Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.
5. Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!
6. Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger.
7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints.
8. Got a surgery done? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.
9. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!
10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Pss…the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)
3 Ways to Use Ginger
1. Ginger & Herb Rice
Cook basmati rice. When you take the lid off the pan, quickly stir in finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and fresh cilantro leaves—the burst of flavor and fragrance will drive your senses crazy with desire!
2. Ginger In Your Juice
‘Grate’ idea: grate some ginger root and put it in your juicer, along with carrots and apples and a little lemon juice. Totally yummy, and of course, so good for you!
3. Gingery Dessert
Even a smidgen of grated ginger on your vanilla pana cotta or strawberry sorbet can wake up the flavor!
The coolest characteristic is that it makes your body absorb the nutrients of everything else more efficiently. I use to be apart of a network marketing company that sold a Juice that was formulated based on Ayurvedic principles. Ginger was a key component for this reason and many others. It also has strong anti-oxidant properties. It is one of those foods that you can just taste the extreme nutrition.
For lunch Danielle heated up some bread that we bought from the Farmers market yesterday. It was basically two thick homemade flour tortillas with a spinach curry in the middle. It made for a great lunch, especially dipped in the nutritional garlic dressing! Mmmm mmmmm!
We nibbled on some grapes and I ate some more mac and sweet potato “cheese.” However we where still hungry when we went to Costco today. It was awful! It is like going through the gauntlet! Samples, Samples, Samples!! Every where you look. Not one vegan sample! They had Creme puffs, chicken bowls, chicken egg roll lookin’ things, milk chocolate peanut butter cups, triple layer dip, cheese and crackers, mac and cheese, green been casserole, french onion dip, etc. But the worst one was the cinnamon rolls! I could smell them almost the whole time we were in there! It wasn’t just Costco either! Trader Joes was giving out whole slices of pumpkin pie. My Favorite!
Oh well I enjoy exercising my will power and being healthy! We got some more groceries today as well that I am pretty excited about! Among them, a three pound bag of organic frozen berries, a four pound bag of frozen organic peaches, more acai, and more granola. Breakfast is going to be good the next couple of days!
For dinner we made brussels sprouts! Here is the recipe we used from the following website…
Nutty Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 pound whole brussel sprouts
1 medium red onion (about 1½ cups)
4 ounces raw pecan halves (about ¾ cup)
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Rinse brussel sprouts, trim the ends, slice in half and place in a single layer in a casserole dish.
Slice the onion into wedges and add to the brussel sprouts along with the pecans.
Sprinkle the spices and nutritional yeast evenly over the dish and drizzle with olive oil. Mix the ingredients together using a spoon or spatula, return them to an even layer in the dish, and pop it in the oven.
Roast for 45 minutes, checking and mixing the ingredients every 15 minutes.
When it’s time, remove the dish from oven, let cool for at least 5 minutes then serve.
We did not use any nuts. And it still turned out amazing!
Tomorrow’s smoothie is going to be magical! I am going to go to bed now so I can wake up and make it! Good night.