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

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)


julie hasson said...

Congratulations on the grandbaby! How exciting for your family.

I'll have to give that Mac and Cheeze recipe a try. It sounded so good mixed with the chili. Yum!

Happy Thanksgiving Sheree!


P.S. So sorry to hear about your kitty.

Anonymous said...

How exciting! Congratulations to your family! You must be in awe of the idea of your baby having a baby!

I've made a sausage style seitan before and liked it a lot.. I should give that recipe a try.

I love how many veggies you eat.

I hope your kitty is comfortable until the end. *hugs*

-melody from melomeals.

Vegan_Noodle said...

That is such exciting news Sheree! Congratulations to Brandie and Micah...hopefully she gets over her morning (or is it all day?) sickness soon.

This is definitely the time of year to reflect on life changes, sounds like you've had quite a few this year. Of course, we would all love to see more posts, but we all have lives to live as well.

Hope Tilly is staying comfortable. I'm sure she's getting lots of love....

Anonymous said...

Hello! Brandie here... Yes, it's actually all day sickness :) Morning shmorning! whoever came up with that name had NO idea... lol! Thank you all for the congratulations - we are so happy too! Mom's been a sobbing blabbering happy mess since we told them! Lucky she can see to cook! :oD I have definitely not been eating as well since I moved away from vegan mom - she has so much more time to experiment and make yummies than I do - I miss it!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you... !!!

Susan Voisin said...

Wow! That is really life-changing news. Congratulations to you all. I know you'll love being a grandmother!

Tell Brandie I had terrible "morning" sickness for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy. I lost 15 pounds, but I gained it and more later on. Fortunately, the baby gets first dibs on all the nutrients during that nauseous time.

And my heart hurts for you and your kittie. I know she feels your love.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations !!!! so much new things around!!!

the food looks awesome!!

Ruthie said...

You're gonna be such a great gramma!

I want to tell you something from my perspective as a vet assistant.

Our pets are very dear to us. They have spent so much of their lives with us that they hold us as dearly as we hold them. I know that you want more than anything to hold on to Tilly as long as possible and for her to pass on at home. You no doubt know by now that this isn't always how it happens. Your kitty may get to a point where she is suffering so terribly and needs you to make the final decision for her. Euthanasia can be a very compassionate act. Don't worry, though, because pets are very good about letting their people know when it's time. You know her more than anyone and she will let you know when it's time for you to give her her final peace. But please listen and watch for it and allow it when she asks. The saddest thing I see on a day to day basis at work is not people who put down their animals too early, it's those who wait too excruciatingly long and watch their dearest friends suffer needlessly because they aren't strong enough to let go. Best of luck in this time.


aTxVegn said...

Hooray for such exciting news, Sheree! I'm sorry Brandie is so sick right now. I hope it won't last much longer. Keep taking care of yourself and have a great Thanksgiving.

We share broccoli love!

Amy said...

Congratulations to both you and the expectant parents. Morning sickness (or in my case all the time sickness) is the worst. Get her to drink ginger tea, chew on ginger lollies and anything else ginger to help!

Judy said...

Congrats on the good news! Your grandchild will be one lucky kid.

Kate said...

MMM mac and cheese. It's really great how well you utilize leftovers.

Rose said...

Congratulations! You must be very proud not to mention excited :)

urban vegan said...

Congrats on the newest family member---what exciting news.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Sheree, don't worry about not being able to blog as much - you have a lot going on right now, so whenever you get the time to blog, do it; but don't feel obligated!! you're faithful readers/fellow bloggers (myself included) are more than willing to wait!! just take care of yourself, Tilly, and the rest of your family, in the meantime.

And speaking of family, congratulations on your future status as a grandmother!! how exciting indeed!! your new grandchild will DEFINITELY bring joy and happiness :0)

bazu said...

Congratulations on the grandbaby-to-be!

TB said...

So sorry about your kitty--it's the hardest thing--but I'm glad that you had such wonderful news about the grandbaby on its way to balance out the picture. Congrats!

Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! said...

so much love to you all! congratulations on the newest member of your family! so exciting, isn't it?!?!

and extry love to dearest Tilly. the beautiful thing about losing the ones we love is that they are released forever to be in every thing of beauty we come across. so know that Tilly is everywhere, resting peacefully, playing joyfully as only a kitty can, and loving you always. all you have to do is know that she is forever there.