One of my 40 before 40 goals is to create a cookbook of my favorite 40 vegan recipes.  I am not going to invent 40 new recipes, but capture my favorite recipes modified to be vegan or my favorite recipes from vegan cookbooks.  And I am going to make each recipe three times the same way to make sure it is right – and not take lazy shortcuts in the name of “creativity”.

One of my first challenges will be cream of mushroom soup.  Being white and from the midwest, some of my favorite recipes use this pantry staple.  I have a bead on a white mushroom sauce recipe that I recently found.

And there will be lots of potato recipes.  Here is my planned list:

1. “Chicken” in pastry

2. “Chicken” crepes

3. “Beef” Stroganoff – my favorite food ever

4. Fourth of July Chocolate Cake

5. Snickerdoodle Bars

6. Comfort Casserole

7. Bangin’ Breakfast Sammie

8. Banana Splitted and Cherried and Chocolated Bread

9. Perfect Pizza

10. Deli Samich

11. Those Aren’t Enchiladas

12. Perfect Taco Night

13. Avocado Quesadillas

14. Cute Quiche

15. French Onion Soup

16. Grilled “Cheese” and Mater Soup

17. Blasphemous Barbecue

18. Lovely Lettuce Wraps

19. Sloppy Gingers

20. “Parmesan” “Chicken”

21. Really Vegan Oreos

22. French Toast

23. Apple Crisp

24. Peach Cobbler

25. Spankin’ Spring Salad

26. Stupid Summer Salad

27. Awesome Autumn Salad

28. Bodacious Balsamic Basil Maters

29. Biscuits and Gravy (hopefully a guest post from my husband)

30. Fettucine “Alfredo”

31. Baked Pasta

32. Apples and “Sausage”

33. No Carrots Pot Pie

34. Whipped Potatoes

35. Twice Baked Potatoes

36. Fried Potatoes

37. Roasted Potatoes

38. Sweet Salsa

39. Fancy Dip

40. Chocolated Puffed Rice Cereal



How you know I am a baller:

1. I really don’t know what “baller” means.  I am hoping it is not something offensive – I think it means someone who is serious in their chosen field, i.e. basketball?

2. My mac and cheese was gluten, soy, and dairy free that I had for lunch today.  HOTT.

3. I am embracing the curly girl lifestyle ( and my hair is f’ing gorgeous.  I mean, srsly, be careful about looking at me – you might fall in love.

4. I sometimes get my pants properly hemmed.  Other times I just hope for people not looking at me past my knees.  When I am wearing hemmed pants I walk around a lot more and point at my ankles when I walk past people.  I am 5’4″ and my pants are the right length… I AM A FASHION GODDESS!

5. DH and I have tickets to see a concert consisting of sci fi “classic” songs this weekend.

6. I know the status of Chuck and Blair’s relationship.

7. I send .pdfs, not .docs, so people aren’t confronted with my formatting marks.

8. Twice a day I have coffee with peppermint mocha nondairy creamer.  They haven’t *proven* that nondairy creamer can kill you, right?

9.  I have mp3 hookup in my Prius.  (How did I live without that???)

10. I have not completely surrendered my existence to Jetpack Joyride.  Not yet, anyway.

That’ll do, pig!

I love James Cromwell.  He is a charming actor who shone in Babe, a movie I love very much.  One of my favorite lines from Babe is “That’ll do, pig.”  I love the understated and moving appreciation and the look of pride on Babe’s face.

I often say “That’ll do, pig.” to myself when there are minor victories.  After working out just as planned, or eating a healthy meal and stopping.

I have instituted a new routine after eating dinner, my wrapping up for the day – closing the book on food:

1. Clean up.

2. Pack lunch and snacks for the next day.

3. Brush and floss teeth.

4. Send food diary to health coach.

All finished with a sometimes audible (depending on if DH is home or not) “That’ll do pig.”  Another good day of doing the work that needs to be done.

(Incidentally, the awesome James Cromwell is the narrator in this horrifically sad but necessary newly-released video from Mercy for Animals that documents food – pork, poultry, egss, dairy – from farm to fridge.  He has been a vegan since Babe.)


No F’ING way! (Day 1)

I ate 1233 calories today.  That’s it… really.  I am blown away by this.  I figure that has had to have happened before – but never on purpose.  I have made many commitments to myself… but actually making it through he first day right hasn’t happened since I was 17.  I have started and stopped WW a bazillion times, but I always eat all my extra points by the third day in and then suck on the 4th day and then start all over again.

I am trying the Carb Lover’s Diet – I am not sure there is anything special about it except that it is readily available food (and adjusts *almost* seamlessly for a vegan).  The first week is the breaking in which is 1200 calories a day for seven days – and then you get to eat more.  I mean, I am hungry, don’t get me wrong.  But not the beasty sort of uncontrollable hunger that I felt almost all waking hours before I got a good doctor who got my PCOD metabolism problem under control.  I think what I am feeling is normal hunger, not MWAHAHAHAHA JUST GIVE ME FOOD AND MY BODY WILL CONVERT IT TO FAT IMMEDIATELY SO THAT I AM CONSTANTLY HUNGRY AND WANT TO CRY AND EAT AND SCREAM hunger.  Pretty big difference.

I was dreading the evening most of all.  I usually do OK during the days but feel and act really out of control in the evenings.  And I knew at the end of the day all that was waiting for me was a veggie burger on whole wheat with 1 tsp of mustard and an apple and that is f’ing it.  Any iteration of me prior to today would not have been able to do that.  Not an exaggeration.  But today I could.  Keys to success (yes – I realize it has been just one day – but that is one more day than I have gone in a looooong time):

1. Medication that makes my body actually convert carbs into energy so that my body doesn’t think it is being starved.

2. The World’s Best Veggie Burger from Local Burger.  I generally can’t stand veggie burgers – I will eat them in a pinch, and often it is the only option for me in some situations, but generally I find them gross.  So when my husband and I went to Local Burger and the world’s best is what they claimed, I scoffed.  Sort of like the world’s best steamed brussel sprouts – great big honor there.  And then I bit into it and it was AWESOME!  I mean truly, seriously wonderful.  It doesn’t taste like a burger, it tastes great – and completely vegan except for the bits of their soul they had to give to the devil to make such an awesome tasting veggie burger.  They sell frozen patties you can make at home, and I begrudgingly bought some at my husband’s prodding – I went for four patties instead of the big box my husband suggested (stupid, stupid, stupid)- because I was fairly certain that home preparation would make it the mealy thing that I can get at home already from one of many boxes – veggie burgers that taste like sadness.  I thought there was no way I could recreate its fantasticness at home, but two rounds in the toaster (yes, the toaster) on a medium setting (I don’t have a “defrost” setting on my toaster – I am not a frickin’ Rockefeller) and it was GREAT!

3. Fandy schmancy french tarragon mustard on the world’s best veggie burger -tres yum!

4. Getting away from the treats – there are cookies and candy downstairs – I am staying out of their way.

5. Committing to sticking to a plan to my trainer so that she can study this Carb Lover’s Diet thing – I am nothing if not a supporter of scientific questioning.  I don’t want to let the side down.

6. I am only letting myself watch trashy teenage television shows on my iPad on a cardio machine…. and I *really* wanted to know what happened when J got back in town after being banished by Blair!  So I spent an hour working out – which was one hour less not thinking about not eating food.

I do think that my rumbly tummy will get me out of bed early tomorrow morning – which means I could get to the gym before work which would be great.  I have a 90210 waiting for me.  Oh, that this works.


Last Saturday, DH, the twins, and I hosted a tea party at our house. After getting over the initial pressure of all the preparations, we had a great time fixing the fancy food and setting the table. (And I got to use all of our teapots!)

And here is a list of what we served:

(list 20) What We Served at Our Tea Party

  1. Cucumber tea sandwiches – if you ever make tea sandwiches, I highly recommend the very thin bread from Pepperidge Farm. It worked wonderfully for us.
  2. Pear and faux cream cheese and toasted walnuts tea sandwiches – DH found this recipe in a little tea book he had – they definitely were the hit of the party!
  3. Rosewater and pistachio cupcakes with faux cream chese frosting – from the fantabulous Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!
  4. Dried red fruits scones
  5. Blueberry stilton
  6. Blackcurrant Black Tea
  7. Pomegranate Grean Tea
  8. Passionfruit and Strawberry Red Tea

All of it was vegan and delicious except for the blueberry stilton, which was just delicious.

Earth Day!

I really, really, really, really, really try to not preach about veganism. When I started my checkered path on July 5, 2004 I did it because I wanted to change my impact on the earth – not become an insufferable nag who people don’t like to hang out with (I save those qualities for DH). For the most part, I think I achieve this. Here is a list of things I try to never do as a vegan:

(list 18) Things I Try Not To Do as a Vegan

  1. Comment on what other people are eating.
  2. Tell people I am vegan unless they ask why I am not eating something.
  3. Refuse to go to a restaurant because there won’t be any vegan (or vegetarian) options.
  4. Talk about being vegan unless it is apropos to something in the conversation or I know the person has similar interests in veganism/vegetarianism/organic food. For example, my coworker Mark (who is on the other end of the political spectrum) is a vegetarian and he always likes to discuss vegan or vegetarian recipes.
  5. Cry, stomp, or act miffed when somebody bites into some sort of meaty/cheesy concoction and expresses delight at how good it is in order to get me to react. (Think Homer Simpson taunting Lisa.) I have been really surprised by how often that happens, especially at work, once somebody finds out I am vegan.

BUT (you knew there was one coming), today is Earth Day, and I am going to imbibe in some pro-veganism campaigning. Becoming vegan does way more for the environment than driving a hybrid or recycling (although those are good too!). I am not a perfect vegan, but I sure try, and here are the enviromental reasons why:

(list 19) Environmental Reasons I Am a Vegan

  1. U.S. livestock consume more than six and a half times as much grain as the entire U.S. human population consumes directly. According to the Council for Agriculture Science and Technology, if all this grain was consumed directly by humans, it would nourish five times as many people as it does after it is converted into meat, milk and eggs.
  2. A vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4200 gallons of water per day.
  3. Animal agriculture accounts for more than 80% of annual world deforestation.


There are other reasons I am a vegan, but I won’t get in to those. If you want to know more, please ask me or read The Food Revolution by John Robbins. He rejected the Baskin Robbins fortune in order to pursue veganism. He lays out health, environmental, and moral reasons to be a vegan. It convinced me – and I had no prior inclination to anything other than meat and cheese (other than trying to be a vegetarian for three days in high school).

I am not a vegan role model. Too often I am tempted by something in the house – this week it was a forkful of blueberry stilton cheese and a root beer float ice cream bar. But I try, I really do. I encourage you, on Earth Day, to avoid meat and cheese and milk tonight. Do it for the earth.

OK, really, I am done. Zipping my lips. No more on the subject. Shhhh!