Sunday, 30 December 2012

On The Go Funk

My favorite gift this year was one for our whole family, from ourselves. We invested in a printer.

With the Cave Man going off to college in just one week, I knew we would likely be needing one. Also, homeschooling starts in July for us. There have been many a craft or activity or recipe I wanted to print just in the past two weeks. Every family can make use of a good printer. My only requirement, I told Cave Man as he ventured into the store, was that it have refillable cartridges. Check!

You see, lately I've been in this super funk. I say lately, but I mean for the past year. Everything feels impossible. And it's starting to feel like our apartment is a prison, even though I'm free to come and go. Free that is, as long as Wee Piglet doesn't need me. I'm new to this style of parenting. The attatchment, "extended" nursing, gentle, on demand, parenting thing. Also Wee Piglet is always on the move and getting into things that a baby has no business getting into, so I often end up holding him much to his frustration all day to keep him out of said things.

It's not that we need to baby proof. He grabs my mouse off my desk and my keyboard too. He almost pulled my tower down on himself the other day. He rips my speakers out. He pulls all of our DVD's off the shelf, he rips all of the books, he gets his fingers caught in drawers and climbs up the baby gate, then he pinches his siblings trying to climb over their bodies while they insist on laying his way and they scream and hurt him, then he cries and next thing you know we're in a five way fight. PHEW. Then, he dumps over his bin of blocks, climbs behind Cave Man's computer desk, we de-tangle him from the wires, he opens the balcony door and gets outside (we're on the third floor) and we snatch him up mid-houdini act and he pulls over the clothes rack full of drying cloth diapers... I mean seriously. He NEVER. STOPS.

And in between all of this, I'm hearing whines for drinks, snacks, he hit me, she spit on my big toe, he was throwing food, I made a mess, can you please open this, I lost my crayon, I have to pee, no I won't ever take a bath again, he's not wearing underwear....

Just imagine all of that going on at the same time. That is my life, 24 hours a day! I love being a Mom, it's great, amazing, rewarding, challenging, exciting. But it is also intense, monotonous, redundant, frustrating, anxiety causing, omgamIdoingthisright feeling.

My point is, it feels good to bring a little order back into my life. To feel like I have some control over how our day goes, to give the kids clear expectations so that they know this is what is happening now, and this is what will happen next. To add some responsibility to their lives, like clearing the table or helping me fold laundry. That printer right now, feels like a life saver.

Now, Ape Boy and Tiny Twirler have colour coded chore charts (blue for him, pink for her - very cliche). I even have my own, yellow chore chart. And with those is our daily routine schedule chart. It's green. They all look very official, and there are boxes for the kids to check off their chores each day. Chores equal marbles. Marbles go in the "nice jar," and when it is full we will do something fun like bowling, see a movie, go to the big sledding hill, or some other fantastic activity.

Have Yourself, A Very Merry Christmas..

Did you? Have yourself, a very merry Christmas? I hope so. With my extended family, we do a homemade Christmas. It was pretty spectacular. Here's what I made for ours (recipes attatched).

Apricot Chutney
Cranberry Orange Relish
Cinnamon Bun Granola

I also had the kids make super cute candy cane crafts. It's a mouse made from felt, that hold the candy cane which also acts as the mouse tail. They did a wonderful job, I'm a pretty proud Mommy.

The recipes (above) are super easy, and fast. Exactly what I needed for a hurried Christmas! I love canning, the sound of the lids popping after doing the work of making something, prepping the jars, those moments of intensity as you fill the jars and try not to drop them and make sure the seal will be just right. When that *POP* can finally be heard from the other room, it is so rewarding.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

News and Views, and Holiday's too!

Hey you! I'm still here!

I hope that everybody had some pretty decent holidays recently, and wanted to pop in to let my readers know that I am just as lost in the holiday rush as the rest of you.

The holidays, while enchanting and wonderful, can be hard on everybody. Please keep this in mind as you pull your children along from family gathering to Christmas potluck and new years parties or playdates. Everybody feels overwhelmed, especially those precious wee ones that we love so much. And not just the children, but family pets too! With new smells, people, places, sounds and so much commotion our companions are easily stressed out. Please take care of those around you.

That out of the way, we've had a wonderful holiday here at Quirky Vegans. I will tell you all about it soon, including my canning adventures in trying new recipes (with recipe links included), a fun craft for the kids, and lots HoHoHo's and cheer! Peace and love to all of you.

Friday, 14 December 2012

We Have A Winner!

A winner has been chosen and contacted for the Comfy Rumps Giveaway! Congratulations Kerri!

I hope to be doing more giveaways soon, so keep following this blog.

Thank you to Comfy Rumps for making this giveaway possible, and all of the lovely participants. I hope that our winner will be very pleased with her diaper.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

It's Diaper Giveaway Day!

Yep, today is the day. The day for the Comfy Rumps Giveaway!

I promise you won't regret it. So here's the deal. Your first mandatory contest entry is to visit the Comfy Rumps Facebook Page and "like" them there.

For a second entry, follow or subscribe to my blog.
*HINT* The subscribe button is on the top right corner.

BUT - In order for me to know if you have done these things or not, I will need you to comment on this post and tell me that you have done both of these things! I will also need a way to contact the winner, so please consider that as well!

I will be choosing a lucky winner of ONE COMFY RUMPS DIAPER on FRIDAY DECEMBER 14th!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Diaper Review and Upcoming Giveaway!

Lately I have been on the hunt for some new cloth diapers. Wee piglet seems to be terribly hard on the ones that were passed down to us, and they just do not cut it. The elastics on the legs are shot, the pocket no longer has working elastic, the snaps are falling off, the velcroe no longer sticks, they are leak-proof no more and the fit is all wrong.

We were down to the wire, only four truly workable diapers left. Of course, we're making do until our diaper shipment comes in but those precious few that are left we save for bedtime ONLY.

I recently sampled a Comfy Rumps diaper, and I'll tell you what I thought.

The very absolute first thing I noticed was of course the super cute pattern! We now call it our "Moo Diaper." Wee Piglet is already trying to say "Mooo" everytime we get it prepped for wearing.

The fabric is super soft, and this diaper reminds me a lot of the Alva Baby diapers. Though the snap design is unique to all of the other diapers that we currently own.

I quite enjoy the way that this diaper snaps up, because I can do it up snug around the waist and the single lower snap makes the Comfy Rumps diaper more custom fit than some others. So once I finished oogling the "Mooo" print, caressing the material, and snapping the diaper in place we put it through the (big scary announcer voice here) ultimate diaper test!

Which really just means that Wee Piglet wore his Comfy Rumps diaper to bed! And would you believe it? NO LEAKS! Thank you, Comfy Rumps, for keeping my sheets dry at night.

Within the next week I will be posting a Comfy Rumps giveaway, so come back often!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Some Reasons to "Not School"

That's what I am going to call it, "not school." As of June 2013, my children will be done going to conventional school. And I could not be more relieved and excited. While I don't have all of my reasons lined up in neat little rows, I wanted to share a few just for fun (and in no particular order).

Reasons to Not School:
1. Can't find that missing sock? Tiny Twirler stained that brand new, nice shirt? No problem! We can hang out in our pajama's all day long!

2. Peanut Butter. Our current school has banned all peanut butter AND peanut butter replacements, like soy butter. Which means I can't send Ape Boy's favorite snacks to school.

3. No more lunch stress, period. No more searching for just the right sized containers, worrying about what in the world I should send in their lunch, or if anybody (ie THE TEACHER) is going to make a snide comment towards my children about what they have to eat.

4. Bullies be gone. If I hear of one more boy calling my wee Tiny Twirler "Fathead" or "Fateyeball" or FAT anything, or any other word in the freaking dictionary for that matter... this Mamma just might lose it.

5. Broken Bad Habbits. Seriously, every school day my children come home behaving like somebody elses kids. I don't know who these wild animals are. These kids that say "poop this" or "poop that" or "I'm going to toot on your ear".. who are THEY? Then I spend two days getting my children back, and they go to school again. Restart.

6. Freedom! So often we miss out on community programs, because Tiny Twirler and Ape Boy are too exhausted and stressed out from school to go anywhere. Sometimes it's just because a program runs too late, and they would not get enough sleep for school the next day. We can set a sleep schedule that works for us, instead.

7. Time to do, well, anything. The world is our classroom. If Tiny Twirler wants to do a craft for three hours straight, all the more power to her. When Ape Boy doesn't want to leave his activity, he doesn't have to. They can jump around as often as they like, or focus for longer. I have more time to spend taking them to the grocery store and learning about food, costs (math), buying local, organic vs gmo vs conventional (science lessons, anyone?), or what the bag boys name is because all people matter equally.

8. Trips to the bus, in a snowstorm, at 8:00 am (muahahahah bye bye!). I really despise snow. Another thing I despise? Early mornings. But what bothers me most about getting Tiny Twirler and Ape Boy on the bus each school morning is having to bundle up Wee Piglet in 8 layers of clothing, and strapping him on over my big bulky winter coat, and trying to walk down the stairs to the bus stop in those pesky snow shoes. I'm kidding, there are no snow shoes.

9. More time to persue their passions. Right now Tiny Twirlers (age 4) passions are Hair Styling and Fashion. Ape Boy (5) is passionate about his lego, star wars, and a Ninja career.

10. Sunny Days Never Wasted. It is a huge bummer when spring rolls around and you get that odd week full of beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures. You think to yourself "oh, the fun we could be having right now at the park" (or having a picnic, jumping in puddles, etc). Only, you can have all of that fun without waiting for the kids to come home from school. Take off to the beach on a Monday morning? Why not!

Spring Days 2011

Sunday, 11 November 2012

I'm Tired (Adrenal Fatigue)

This day and age, it seems that every itch has a name and a slew of medication to go with it. So when I read up on things like adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues I did not take it seriously. To me, adrenal fatigue was a fancy way of saying "hey, I'm tired. Diagnose me, so I can get some sleep." So I was talking to my friend about how tired I always seem to feel and she asked me if I have ever had my thyroid checked. No, I haven't. Though it seems that thyroid issues are also becoming more and more common.

I knew one thing, I needed answers right away. If I was snippy with my children for being what they are (kids) one more time, fall asleep in the afternoon one more day, or have any more hair fall out I was going to just maybe lose it. So I went to google (which is a very good friend of mine when I am looking for answers). I started to read up on the thyroid and various issues that some people might have. I checked out the symptoms list for thyroid problems:

  • cold intolerance
  • confusion or forgetfulness (often mistaken for dementia in seniors)
  • constipation
  • depression
  • dry, scaly skin
  • fatigue, or feeling sluggish
  • hair loss
  • increased menstrual flow (women)
  • irritability
  • muscle cramps
  • slower heart rate
  • weakness
  • weight gain
  • coarse and dry hair

  • (the above is from this link on hypothyroidism)

    I realized that I have all but two of those symptoms (dry skin and increased menstrual flow). That was interesting, but it wasn't convincing enough. I started to dive into the causes and cures of hypothyroidism. And something stuck out. On only one of the websites out of several, adrenal fatigue was listed as a possible cause of hypothyroidism.

    Because I had only seen it pop up once, adrenal fatigue stuck out. So I searched it, and looked at the symptoms. Every. Single. One. Matched.

    Then I took a survey found here. The most interesting thing about the symptoms is that they were almost the same as hypothyroidism.

  • excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • non-refreshing sleep (you get sufficient hours of sleep, but wake fatigued)
  • overwhelmed by or unable to cope with stressors
  • feeling rundown or overwhelmed
  • craving salty and sweet foods
  • you feel most energetic in the evening
  • a feeling of not being restored after a full night's sleep or having sleep disturbances
  • low stamina, slow to recover from exercise
  • slow to recover from injury, illness or stress
  • difficulty concentrating, brain fog
  • poor digestion
  • low immune function
  • food or environmental allergies
  • premenstrual syndrome or difficulties that develop during menopause
  • consistent low blood pressure
  • extreme sensitivity to cold

  • (

    When I took the survey in the link above (survey here) my scores were not good. They give you four possibilities; no adrenal fatigue, low adrenal fatigue, high adrenal fatigue and severe adrenal fatigue. The numbers scored for a high adrenal fatigue situation was 132 at the highest level. Anything above that was severe. My scores were 173 on the adrenal fatigue "scale."

    The reason I am blogging about adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism is because I feel more and more people suffer from it. I hear from mothers all the time about how exhausted they are, they are becoming depressed and anxious and can not make a decision to save their lives. I really wanted to touch on that connection between adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues. Maybe it can help somebody.

    From various sources, this is what I gathered as a method of helping heal adrenal fatigue (which for a severe case, can take up to 24 months).

    1 - Sleep until 9:00 am when possible.
    2 - Nap during that low energy dive (around 3:00 pm)
    3 - Eat at least 6 kinds of vegetables a day (and juice them)
    4 - Vitamin C, licorice root and kelp can aid in healing the adrenals
    5 - Avoid caffiene, sugar and fats (the main go-to's for coping with adrenal fatigue)
    6 - Avoid stress!

    Adrenal glands are the "stress" glands. They process your stress, emotional and physical. In times of high stress, your adrenal glands are working overtime. If you are under high stress for a prolonged period of time, it is easy for your adrenal glands to burn out. This is why a juice fast is not recommended as a way of healing the adrenal glands. Juice fasts are stressful on both your body and your emotional well being, and putting alrealdy burnt out adrenal glands under that kind of pressure is redundant.

    I need to heal so I can be there for my children. As a devoted Mom of three wonderful beasts, who need me completely (all day, everyday), I can not sit by and let this situation become worse. This is a situation where putting myself first benefits my entire family. I don't want to feel sick anymore, tired, with my hair falling out and my patience short. When a stressful situation comes up no matter how large or small, I want to handle it properly without feeling like my chest is going to explode and crumpling into a ball of overwhelming panic. This is where I am at. I have to make changes. Those will include dietary adjustments and taking care of ME. Taking time for myself without feeling guilty, and letting go.

    So, there you have it. This is just one of the many changes I will be dealing with in the next few weeks.

    Saturday, 10 November 2012

    Twisted Coconut Curry

    I love coconut curries, and so does the Cave Man. But it's time to branch out. I really want to try new types of curry dishes, experimenting with ingredients and so forth. Tonights twist was merely out of necessity (what do we have in the fridge that needs used up?) so I added black beans. Traditionally a mexican meal ingredient, it still worked lovely in this simple curry.

    Coconut Curry:
    1 can coconut milk
    6 small potatoes
    1 1/2 cups frozen organic peas
    1 onion
    2 cups black beans
    curry powder (to taste)
    Oil (for frying)

    Side of Spiced Rice:
    2 tbsp garam masala (spice)
    2 cups of rice
    4 cups of water
    2 cups chick peas
    1/2 - 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

    For the Curry..
     1. Fry up the onion until well carmalized.
    2. While the onion is frying, chop up the potatoes into bite sized pieces and put them in a casserole dish. Add the coconut milk, frozen peas, cooked black beans, and curry powder.
    3. Stir the onions into the casserole dish, put the lid on and stick it in the oven on 400 degrees until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

    For the Rice..
    1. Fill a pot with four cups of water, and add garam masala and fenugreek seeds.
    2. Once the water has boiled, put in the rice and bring it back to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is almost absorbed. *You can turn off the burner, but the leave pot on it to keep it warm*
    3. Stir in the cooked chick peas, and put the lid back on for about ten minutes to finish absorbing the water and heat up the chick peas.

    Serve side by side and garnish with leafy stuff of your choice! I used celery leaves, because that is what we had on hand. It's simple enough, and it was really yummy!

    As a bonus, fenugreek is known to boost the milk supply in nursing mothers.

    Functioning at 50%

    I am still here, but I am not fully awake. I know, it has been quite a long time since I have posted! Life has become one big blur of crazy. With my current state of health, and insomnia to boot, I am only able to function at 50% or less. But here is what I can say:

    Changes are happening. Internally I have come to many realizations. There is a shift in my thinking, and in my heart. This change is beautiful. I am tired of running from myself, for fear of putting myself first. It is time to embrace all that is me, get on the road to recovery (curing my low energy issues), and free myself from the expectations of others and the unrealistic expectations that I put on myself (that really, have nothing to do with me and who I am).

    For now I will leave you with that. Soon I will explain what I have been up to. Probably on a day that I have been able to catch more than one hour of sleep.

    Sunday, 28 October 2012

    Ghosts, Goblins and Willy Wonka, Oh My!


    One of my biggest struggles as a vegan is deciding how to participate in Halloween with my children. Do we go trick or treating and trade the candy for vegan goods or toys? Should we stay in and pretend that Halloween doesn't even exist? Do we go out and visit family? Would the kids be happy with a Halloween party? There are other events in town, should we try that? It is a never ending pool of options and questions and pros vs cons.

    So this year, after Ape Boy's new fascination with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory we decided to have a small (very small) Willy Wonka Halloween party. You see, he loves the spooky stuff like skeletons and goblins and zombies.. just as long as they don't actually DO anything. And, Tiny Twirler has a hard time watching any movie that has any sad parts at all. In fact, she'll refuse.

    What did we decide to do? We told the kids we could have a Willy Wonka Halloween party! Rock on, right? It turned out to be very small, and a little under prepared with everything that's been going on in the world of our vegan family. Infact, each child was asked to invite just one friend, and only one of them showed up. On top of that, they want to have their cake and eat it too. We're going trick or treating on Wednesday and exchanging their candy for something vegan acceptable. In a world of junk food and obesity, disease and slaughter - I have no idea why we will be supporting this. But we are. And that's okay with us, because we know that our children are health concious, vegan-loving kids.

    Camino bite sized bars turned Willy Wonka, complete with golden tickets.

    Some goodies in the goodie bags.

    They included candy, glow in the dark stickers, bats, and animal noses.

    Veruca Salt fell down the garbage chute.


    Fast food is slowly killing us, says Hirad Zafari, who’s calling on students across Ontario to boycott unhealthy foods for the month of November.
    Zafari, president of the Ontario Student Trustees Association, is making the request as part of a campaign to raise awareness about childhood obesity and the negative health impacts of eating fast food.
    Zafari’s initiative is titled, “Stick it to fast food,” and features a playful logo of a fork giving the finger.
    “We’re the first generation that’s expected to have shorter life spans than our parents,” said Zafari, 17. “We need to put aside the temptation and use logic to stop because these foods are actually killing us.”

    I love this. A student, reaching out to the citizens of the world to create change. THIS is what I am all about. It is people like these students that give my passion the fuel it needs to keep going. Boycott fast food for the month of November. Do it, they're brilliant.

    Thursday, 25 October 2012

    Product Review

    With my husbands new job, come many perks. Often we get to sample items, or bring stuff home that is otherwise not being used. It's pretty kick ass. Here is one such product.

    Coconut Secret Aminos. It's a soy sauce without the soy.
    It is also raw and gluten-free! 

    "Coconut palms are one of the oldest flowering trees in the world.  For centuries throughout the tropics, the traditional practice of "tapping" coconut trees for their prized "sap" is a time-honored art form.  The nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the blossoms before they mature into coconuts, is used to make many unique and nutritious food products.  The Coconut Secret line is the direct result of these artisanal family recipes."

    When the Cave Man told me about this product, I thought he'd lost some marbles. A "soy free" soy sauce, made from coconut? It seems like coconut is a growing trend (with good reason) and that is what I expected from this product. It is truly, just coconut tree sap and salt. After reading the ingredients, my expectations hopped to a salty, coconutty, soy flavored sauce.

    But when I tried it, I was surprised. Coconut Secret Aminos has a very light, smoky flavor and does not taste at all salty. I tried it on some rice with stir-fried veggies, and it has almost a barely-there flavor. It was just subtle enough to make my rice that much more enjoyable. And, you sure do learn something new every day. Coconut Secret also makes vinegar, nectar, flour, snack bars, coconut cream desserts and coconut crystals. 

    I believe it when one of Cave Man's coworkers suggested this product as a marinade. Organic Tofu is going to become very, very intimate with the sap of a coconut tree.

    Everybody Loves Chili

    Well, everybody but my Mom, and my kids. And so far, I have not made a yummy chili yet. I have made a lot of yummy "well, it's not really chili, but it is some kind of soup/mash/mystery pot of.. what did you say that was again?"

    But here I was, really dying for some chili that doesn't taste like a garbage can. So I used some ideas from a few different chili's that I have enjoyed, and you know what? It actually kind of rocked! The only trick was how in the world will I get my texture sensitive boy to eat it?

    I knew that he was beginning to really enjoy salsa. Before, the sight of something red that wasn't tomato soup would send him screaming. Same thing with beans, there was no way that boy even wanted to see a bean, forget about eating it! Though, he was beginning to enjoy refried beans in salsa, black bean brownies, and even enjoys hummus on a regular basis.

    Every kid loves to dip. Small bowls of chili, with some lovely organic corn tortilla chips. Now, don't get all confused. They did not eat the chili. Tiny Twirler and Ape Boy both relished in the dipping process, but refused to scoop and left their plates chip-less and the bowls nearly full. I still consider it a win-win. Good homemade chili, and both of the big wee ones enjoyed some. Victory!


    Saturday, 20 October 2012

    Cave Man Turns Superhero

    I feel like I have been grasping at straws to meet the recommended Vegan MoFo quota of 20 posts for the month of October. We went from 0-60 this week.

    Unexpectedly, The Cave Man scored himself a full-time job! After being at home with him for almost an entire year now, this past week has been a huge adjustment for all of us. Now when I am getting tired out and frustrated, I can't tag team him like usual. If the dishes are piling up and the baby is climbing the walls, Cave Man isn't there to pick up the slack. When the kids want to play lego or barbies with Daddy, they have only 45 minutes to do so right before bed and they'd better make it quick.

    So, while we are super excited for this development (and let me tell you, this job REALLY has it's perks!) it has been a long, rough week. So rough, that I almost sent the kids to school on a Friday that was not their day to go. I happened to check the calendar while they were noshing down their breakfast, only to see that it was not an "A" day at all, but a "B" day! When I tried to send them back to bed, they laughed at me.

    Our little girl (Tiny Twirler) has not been sleeping well. Infact, one night it took her three hours of screaming at me that she needed to go pee EVERYTIME she got into bed. This is because of one accident. Suddenly, she is terrified of having another accident in her bed. That first night we did not do well. So we came up with a plan, eased her back into her routine, approached the situation firm but gentle, and our nights have been peaceful. Maybe I should say that the Cave Man's nights have been peaceful.

    Usually, it's the Cave Man that gets up through the night with the big wee ones, because I'm snuggled up with the Wee Piglet and do not want to wake him, or leave his side just incase he does awaken. But now that the Cave Man has a job, I've been letting him sleep and taking over night waking duty. The only thing? Tiny Twirler will get up through the night and start fighting with me all over again, throwing all of our progress right down the swirling express.

    To get to the real point I'm trying to make, we really appreciate the Cave Man for these full hours he has been putting in, the sacrifices he has made, and are impressed with him for still keeping all of his volunteer commitments. Basically, he ROCKS.

    So we wanted to show him that. The kids and I planned a surprise.

    I found this recipe here

    This is the first gluten free, vegan cake recipe that I found via google. But it looked great, had a wonderful review, and best of all I had all of the ingredients for the cake on hand. So I dove in! It was easy, fast, and let me just say - the batter was like warm caramel. I had super high hopes.

    The recipe says to split the batter in two 9 inch baking pans, but when I poured it in, there did not seem like enough! So, I put it all in one pan. Ooops mistake number one! So, as you can see in the picture below the middle was a bit uncooked, yet still it was delicious! I can not wait until I make this again (but properly!).

    I did not however, have all of the ingredients for the icing! So I improvised (mistake number two). When I tasted the icing, due to my improvisation it was super bitter. I HAD to change something and fix it, and fast. I'm glad that they used beet juice for the color as well, because it inspired our dinner for the night. I totally recommend this recipe, but don't be foolish like I was and just follow the damn recipe.

    Our wonderful artwork. We did a second one that had a mish-mash of fatherly poems written on it, and a stick figure family portrait. We freakin' rock!

    I love the kids contribution, their paintings are so very sweet. That is Ape Boy's painting on the left, and Tiny Twirler on the right. I love them so much, they helped out all day and were super nice. Everyday I think that I could not possible be more proud of them, and everyday my pride grows. This adjustment is very hard on them, as it is on my husband. It is a wonderful thing, though.

    Did I mention also, that the Cave Man's new job relates to food? Mm'hmmm, that's right baby. My man scored himself a job at our local health food store. I guess I'm really quite proud of my entire family. Each and every one of them. We all work hard as a team unit, and I wouldn't change a single, imperfect thing.

    Thursday, 18 October 2012

    Penny Stretcher

    A few days ago I posted about the things that we purchased at the market. What I did not mention in that post, was the cost. One of those big containers of soup that would only feed two adults (and leave us hungry for more) is $11.00

    To some of you, that may not seem like much. But when you can buy tomato soup in a can for less than $1.00 and it feeds us even more than that container, it is. Though since having home made soup, tomato soup in a can is really, really gross.

    Either way, we can't afford to just single serve that soup and buy it weekly. So tonight, I used it a different way.

    It could really use some garnish, right?

    Around 14 years ago I took my first and only plane ride, out to B.C. I still vividly remember the food that I was served on that plane. I was always a finicky eater, and I remember being really nervous about the meal that they would serve. I remember even at the tender age of eleven, being blown away by the flavours. It was chicken (I know, lets pretend I said tofu because that tastes much better) and cream of celery soup over rice. It very quickly became my favorite meal and I asked my parents to make it often.

    What I did not know at the time, was that this one meal would teach me about being even more resourceful. Don't have enough soup to go around? Abracadabra, it's sauce instead! A container of soup fit for two, transformed and served five. Do you want to hear the very best part? There is still half of the soup left over, even after double servings. Sauce for another night, soup for one, or something else? I guess we shall wait and see.

    Monday, 15 October 2012

    Product Review!

    Today is a very special, monumental day. For today is the day that I was introduced, quite officially to ..



    Seriously, where have you been all my life? Growing up as a child, cheese wasn't really my thing. My Mom would fill up a plate for me at a family function, full of crackers, cheese, among other things. I would usually eat half of one piece of cheese out of roughly six, and give the rest to my family members that wanted them. But, bring me a block of Harvarti and don't expect to even see it if you blink!

    We have been vegan for three years now, and I do not regret the choice in any way, ever. I am grateful that we have found this path, and will never go back. But this made my day.

    The Havarti Cheese Wedge is so creamy, so bursting with flavour! All I could think about was throwing some on my favorite black bean burgers, and kicking everybody else out of the kitchen. That's right, I wanted to be alone with my cheese! So if ever you find yourself walking past our kitchen and happen to hear the words "my precious!" I suggest you just keep on moving.

    In all seriousness, I am just happy to find foods that I really like. This cheese is so creamy it tastes like cream cheese. At first, you get the cheesy flavour with a complimentary amount of garlic, and then you feel the spicy bite! It is just the perfect amount of jalapeno for this Mamma. Then again, I like it spicy.

    The Cave Man made us some refried beans over rice for lunch, and I couldn't wait to put this Daiya Cheese on top.

    I Love Cabbage!

    Cabbage is spectacular! It can build muscle, has cancer fighting compounds, can soothe aching breasts for nursing mothers, is sweet, juicy and full of antioxidants.You can eat it as a wrap, in a soup, salad, or be like my children and eat cabbage "cookies." Which is really just large chunks of raw cabbage to munch on.

    And, it looks so pretty!

    Once you are done admiring the beauty that a cabbage witholds you can chop it up, blanch it, and freeze it!

    It may not look as pretty, but it is still full of rich colour, and rich nutrients!

    Cabbage Tip: Eating raw cabbage will not cause that embarassing gas issue that so many experience. It is when you cook cabbage that it can clear a room!

    Something else that is magical about a cabbage? When you are done blanching it for the frigid North Pole or boiling it, you are left with a pot full of purple potion. Oh yes, it is a secret, magical potion. For that potion will turn any normal dish into a spooky, fun dish of purple potion rice!

    AKA "Hulks Blood Rice" (thank you again, the Cave Man and his Ape Boy).


    Saturday, 13 October 2012

    A Tisket, A Tasket

    I didn't take a basket. Before I let you in on our market adventures today, I have something to show you. Prepare, to be - AMAZED! For today I was enlightened into the world of.. are you ready.. it might be too much.. no stay with me! Okay. I'll get to it.


    They grow like this!? Seriously, who knew? Certainly not me.

    My parents presented me with this bundle of sprouts on our way to the market this morning. I was blown away, I have never seen anything like it before. And as soon as I got home want to know what I did? I ordered brussel sprout seeds. That's right, this lady is going to be growing giant sprout stalks. Apparently the man who grew these ones had to chop them down with an AXE. Phew, I'm going to need to build me some muscles.

    I have been meaning to post about some of our favorite things to buy at the market besides produce. Well, today is your lucky day. Do you feel lucky? If you do, keep reading. If it's not so much, then maybe you ought to start.

    Top: Ghost Pumpkin Soup and Thai Curry Lentil Soup
    Bottom: Peppercorn Pate, Green Olive and Roasted Garlic Bruschetta, Lemon Garlic Hummus

    The same as the above, only with the addition of Apple Cider.

    Yes, one of the dishes is empty. Thank you, lovely Cave Man. Now to be totally honest, these are just a few - of our favorite things. Often we buy home made Tofu, Chutney, Hot Pepper Jelly and a to die for (thankfully nobody did) Grapefruit Tomato Soup.

    Ghost Pumpkin Soup: So creamy! I was not sure about this one when I heard about it from our chef people, but Mrs. Chef Lady gave me a sample and it tasted like a very creamy potato soup. Very hearty, indeed!

    Thai Curry Lentil Soup: Wow. If you love curry, this soup is great! Also quite creamy, but with much more density thanks to the added lentils and veggies.

    Peppercorn Pate: I have never tried "real" pate. We buy this at the Sunday markets from a lady who sells raw foods. That's right, it is RAW. With a base of nuts, and a few whole peppercorns on top I can never resist this purchase.

    Lemon Garlic Hummus: Honestly? Not my favorite, but it was purchased as a treat for the two big wee ones. I find the lemon a little too strong, but otherwise it is a really good hummus! And the best part is that I did not have to make it, and it is not full of the preservatives and junk that they put in the grocery store versions.

    Now, the empty container. That one I bought for the Cave Man. It is one that he has a hard time resisting, because he is an olive man. And this bruschetta is rich in the olives. Clearly, it is one of his favorites!

    In the spring I will do a more thorough blog post about our local market, so just FYI - if you want to see that one, you will have to follow me. Follow me everywhere that I may go. Sorry, could not resist.

    If you are unsure of HOW to follow my blog, click on the blue "Join This Site" button on the top right hand side of this page. A window will pop up, and follow the instructions from there. Not so hard, right?

    Thank you to all of my readers! I really need to say this, because I have seen that I now have over 700 views. So thank you! This would not have happened if it were not for Vegan Mofo. I cheered the first 100 views, became like a school girl at 200, and felt incredibly proud and humbled at 500 views.

    Love and Peace.

    The Best Part

    What is the best part about being a vegan? Raising vegan children. Our children are proud, happy, healthy and everybody praises them where ever we go. They dream big, they are mini activists of their own free will, and are each very unique. Here are some of my favorite pictures of them munching down on raw foods.

    Tiny Twirler over two years ago.

    Ape Boy 2011

    Tiny Twirler 2011

    Ape Boy 2012

    Tiny Twirler and Ape Boy 2012

    Wee Piglet munching trees.

    Wee Piglet after playing with some dates.

    So this is a picture heavy Vegan Mofo contribution, but it could be so much more. I have pictures on my phone that I look at and think "Oh! I went into the wrong business." However, I can not transfer them to the world wide web. Thank you for that, technology and consumerism.