Nourishing the mind, body, and soul along the vegan highway.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Goodbye Tilly

This is a great big thank you to all of my friends and family for the support, love, prayers, and thoughts sent our way during this time with Tilly. Wednesday morning I had held Tilly before work and asked her to please let me know when she was ready to go. I don't know why I asked except that I felt she would and I was right she did. Today we let her go. The vets office staff were so good to us. They gave us a quiet room to enjoy our last few minutes with her. I sensed she knew what was going to happen and was ok with our decision. She went peacefully and I sensed happiness in her eyes. We believe we will see her again. We put her to rest at my parents house. They have a large lot and she is with the rest of the family fur babies that have gone on before her. We will always love and miss her. She was a really good kitty. She gave us 13 wonderful years of companionship. We love you Tilly!

Tilly resting on Thanksgiving day.

Shiloh knew something was wrong and when I told her Tilly was sick, she licked Tilly's jaw, mouth, and ear as if to try and help her or make her feel better. I believe it was Shiloh's way of saying good-bye. She really loved Tilly.
I will miss my baby so much.
Brandie you were a so loving to Tilly. Thank you for your love and support
during this really rough time.

Kellie knew her friend would be gone soon. They said their
good-byes early Friday morning.

Again, Thank you all for your support and love. I am so thankful to have you all in my life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Leftovers, emergency food, and life changing news!

I can't believe this year is almost over. There has been so much going on that it seems like the days are slipping through my fingers and I have not had a chance to enjoy many of them. With all the adjustments I am having to make in my life I have felt a bit lost, like walking through a maze in search for the correct turn to bring me back to my life. I am working part time again since my back injury, which is a good thing, but balancing my time with work, home, and blog have been difficult. Hence fewer posts, which I plan to change. I just miss blogging and having visits from all my friends in blogland. Brandie getting married was an awesome time, but I miss her dearly and it is hard to cook for just one vegan in the house. Don't blame DH he is so supportive and tries everything I cook, but he is still an omni and at times wants his kind of food, which leaves me with a never ending amount of leftovers. And then my dear Tilly being sick has put me in a slump for sure. I watch her everyday get a bit slower. She is sleeping quite a bit, but does not seem to be in any pain. She gets wet food now because dry is hard to eat. The tumor on her jaw is impeding the ability to chew hard food too. Our prayer now is that she goes peacefully at home with us. *tears* ....... I am trying hard to prepare myself, but it is difficult as many of you know. Thank you for lending me your shoulders and now for the star attraction, FOOD! Like I said leftovers have played a big part in my meals and with Thanksgiving approaching I did not want to cook any other large meals. Brandie and I love Susan's Baked Macaroni and Cheese. When Brandie was home it was ok, because the two of us would enjoy this for lunches all week, now that she is gone I have been enjoying it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I try to jazz up the leftovers into something else. Here we have the macaroni and cheese turned into a type of "hamburger helper". I took ground seitan, added chopped broccoli, tamari, more nutritional yeast, along with the mac and cheese and there you have it. I know it does not look like much, but it is really good. Of course fried potatoes, fresh zucchini and corn along with more broccoli topped off my meal with a lovely variety of flavors and textures. The mac and cheese is gone now so I told my DH I won't be making anymore until next year. :o)

Bigmouth Vegan made a sausage flavored Seitan O'Greatness, which I tried. It has good flavor, but when I ground it up is is a bit dry. I think it will work great on a pizza with sauce or in your favorite pasta sauce. I wanted to surprise DH with one of his favorite meals, a potato bar. I cooked up the "ground sausage" in a tiny bit of oil and it burned almost immediately. Lets try again. This batch I cooked it in a non-stick skillet, which worked perfect for a tiny bit of crunch warming it up nicely. We had our baked potatoes topped with seitan"sausage", corn, and green onions. Along with it was my favorite vegetable in the whole world, broccoli, fresh zucchini and spinach. Another favorite of mine is cranberry sauce. I couldn't wait until Thanksgiving. :o)

DH wanted burgers for dinner. I keep some easy to prepare foods in the house for emergencies and when the cupboards and fridge are a bit bare. I did not want to shop until time to get the Thanksgiving fixings, so I pulled out my "Nature's Burger Mix". It is easy, quick, and tasty. It is even good as leftovers. This product is a mixture of Brown rice, dehydrated yellow peas, green peas, onion, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and red bell peppers. It also contains barley, organic Bulgar wheat, whole oats, sesame seeds, soy flour, wheat gluten, wheat flakes, soy sauce powder, yeast, sea salt and other spices. I use mix 3/4 cup of the dry mix with 3/4 cup of boiling water and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Then shape the mixture into 3 patties and fry them in a non-stick skillet. Here you have quick burger served on a sprouted wheat bun, with tomato, lettuce, red onion, mustard, and organic ketchup. OH, and some maple flavored baked white beans. How I love baked beans. You can tell the cupboards are bare when I cook up fried potatoes twice in one week. DH loves them and is lucky if he gets them more than once a month. Needless to say dinner was a success thanks to my emergency food storage.

Last Saturday Brandie and Micah invited both sets of parents to the Olive Garden as a thank you for helping them with the wedding. We each got a thank you card and flowers. Inside the card was an envelope, which we both thought was a gift card. NOPE! It was a sonogram picture of our first grandbaby. Yes, they are pregnant. They are saying it was a successful honeymoon. I can't believe it happened so fast. They got married on September 15th and conceived on the 25th. I am sure it must be a record. Needless to say we are very excited. Both of the kids are excited too, but right now Brandie is so sick she can't enjoy much. I made her some "chicken seitan" from Bryanna's recipe, which you can find on the Everyday Dish DVD and gave her some Brussels sprouts, which agreed with "baby bean". This is the baby's nickname since he looks like a little kidney bean in the sonogram picture. So I leave you with a very happy couple and grandparents. :o)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Southern Blackeyed Pea Croquettes and Sweet Potato Biscuits

If you haven't stopped by you should. Susan is having a "Can this recipe be saved" contest. I thought I would give this a try. I searched through my cupboards, freezer, and refrigerator and realized I had very few of the ingredients her recipe called for so I decided to get inventive. Here is my loosely and I mean loosely based version of Susan's recipe.

I served mine with simple vegan gravy, sweet potato biscuits , recipe from Chris and Darlene, and freshly steamed spinach. True these are far from Susan's Thai Pumpkin Croquettes, but I so enjoyed using her recipe for inspiration, making them, and eating them.

Ready to bake

Dinner is served!

Southern Black eyed Pea Croquettes

15 large croquettes

12 ounces of fresh green beans

1 cup of fresh kale

2 cups of cooked black eyed peas

2 T. tamari

1 T. "no chicken" broth

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1 T. flax seed meal mixed with 2 T. boiling water

2 T. nutritional yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1 t. pepper

1/2 t. sea salt

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. onion powder

Bake at 425 degree oven

Clean and trim the green beans. Pulse them in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Next remove the thick stems of your kale, place the leaves in a food processor and pulse them until chopped fairly fine, but not mush. Add the kale to the bowl of green beans. Next place your cooked black eyed peas into the food processor and pulse until they are well chopped. I think you could use a potato masher for this step too. Mix all the ingredients together until well mixed and let sit for about 5 min.

Spray your non-stick cookie sheet with oil. I used a cookie dough scoop to measure out my batter then formed them into nice even rounds. Place them on the cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 20 minutes, turn and bake another 15-20 minutes.

For the past two nights our sweet Tilly has had trouble keeping her dinner and medicine down. I have cut her portion in half hoping that this will help. Otherwise she is doing well, sleeping more, but appears in no pain. She looks like a peek-a-boo kitty. :o)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vegan food month and update on Tilly

A big thank you to all for your kind words and support during this rough time. You are all so nice and caring. I hope each one of you is blessed abundantly for your kindness and love. Tilly is doing well and taking all her medicine like a good girl. She has 3 more days on her antibiotic and then the doctor can put her on steroids to help keep the tumors from growing and hopefully give her more time with us. Here she is sitting on the bed. She is such a wonderful kitty. I have taken about 30 pictures this past weekend so you will be seeing more of her than usual.

I am doing my best to show as much vegan food as I can during this Vegan Month of Food. Vegans can have a hearty breakfast too. Here we have flax seed waffles (I cheated these are the frozen kind) with earth balance and maple syrup. Fried potatoes with onions and red and green bell pepper, and my favorite breakfast food in the world, scrambled tofu. I mix all kinds of veggies with them. This day I have green pepper, scallions, and tomatoes.

As many of you know, my hubby is an omnivore and he wanted hamburgers for dinner. I too can be a part of this BBQ with Garden burger chick'n patties, and homemade russet and sweet potato fries. I love these fries. I cut my potatoes into fries, steam them for about 10-15 minutes, place them on a cookie sheet, mist them with olive oil, and under the broiler they go until golden brown. Delish!

Mexican is big in our family. I try to keep fast boxed vegan food for emergencies. These tacos are made from a box of Fantastic TVP taco meat that was about to expire. Like I said this is emergency food. Anyway it has great flavor and makes a great taco. Added to these are onions, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, and fresh homemade guacamole. My mom bought me some avocados this week that were amazing. Creamy avocado butter, I could eat them all day.

My husbands car had to have new tires. We knew it, but it hit us harder and quicker than expected. It seems like one crisis after another these days, but my sweet hubby wanted to make me feel better. Next to our mechanic's shop is a gym with fantastic healthy cafe. He bought me an Acai smoothie and veggie wrap. He said he wanted to make sure I was getting a good healthy meal. The smoothie was Acai berries, mango, pineapple and apple juice. The wrap was hummas, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and corn on a flour tortilla. He made sure that everything was vegan before he ordered. He is so thoughtful. He asked me how it was and I said really good. He was concerned it was not a whole wheat tortilla and I told him the only way they can improve this is to change to whole wheat tortilla and fresh corn, of course more hummas is always welcomed. Yes I am addicted to hummas. Well that is all for now, but I leave you with one more photo of our Tilly. Love to all!

Joshua and Tilly taking a nap together. What wonderful memories the kids are giving me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A very sad week to be comforted by favorite foods

Hi everyone, This is my 13 year old fur baby Matilda, whom we call Tilly. We have had her since she was 6weeks old. She woke up last Saturday with this huge lump under her chin. We thought it might be an allergic reaction so we gave her benydryl. No luck the lump stayed there. She went to the doctor on Tuesday and they tried to drain the lump and sent it off to be tested. I got the said news on Thursday that my baby has cancer. I almost can't type through the tears. They said this is not the primary tumor so we don't know how long she has. We have her on antibiotics, kitty Motrin, and they gave us kitty morphine if she appears to be in pain. She takes her medicine twice a day and seems happy as a lark. She is still running after her laser light, playing in the sheets, and wants her daily brushing. It is so hard to know that she will be gone much sooner than we ever hoped for. I just hope that when the time comes she goes peacefully at home in my arms. For now she is the princess of the house.

Through all the tears, which will most likely be with me for quite sometime, comfort food seemed like the answer. The top of my pizza. Who needs cheeze with all these yummy ingredients.

Yes there is a crust under all those goodies.

Cookies! I got this recipe from Celine . They are so fast to make and have an incredible taste. Celine makes 3, but I made 6, which gave me and my hubby 3 each. I substituted almond butter in my first batch. Yes you heard me right, my first batch. The second batch was the same as the first, the third was almond butter and currants, and finally the fourth batch was almond butter and raisins. Every night we ate cookies. Sweets to comfort the soul. We did make a vow not to make anymore for awhile because I was totally sweetied out. My sweet hubby is the sweet craver in the home where I am the savory. I only got pictures of the first batch. After that they were gone to fast to think about taking pictures. Oh, by the way they only take about 15 min to make including baking time. These are a RED LIGHT food in our home. :o)

"Meet loaf from Diann. These are so good. I made 3 smaller ones 2 for the freezer and 1 to eat. This recipe is a combination from Laura and the magic meatloaf.
I love these meatloaves. I had not made one in a very long time and I am so thankful to Diann for lifting my spirits with another favorite of mine.

BBQ sauce on the meetloaf and under the broiler for a few minutes gives them that crusty texture. Yum! Something else I rarely indulge in is a baked potato slathered in Earth Balance, but once again it was all about comfort food this week. On a healthy note, broccoli and sugar free organic applesauce were also components of this meal.

Thank you all for letting me shed some tears and share my week with you. I will keep you all posted on my fur baby's time with us. Love you all!