I love Vermont

It wasn’t until I moved away that I fully appreciated Vermont.  I grew up in a small southern Vermont town, a fourth generation Vermonter, where there really wasn’t much in the way of excitement. I played sports, hung out with friends and worked hard in school.  After I became a teacher, I wanted desperately to teach in VT, but it just wasn’t in the cards. One day I ran into a professor from college and he said, “If you are willing to move to an urban area for 3-5 years, you can come back and teach anywhere you want.” And you know what? It took me four. So after 4 years of teaching in Maryland, my husband and I are home. I am a teacher, a wife, a new mom, and I’m enjoying living my life in my home state.

 

Top 5 things I love about VT:

1. The seasons – especially Fall.

2. Maple syrup

3. The slower pace of life

4. My family is here.

5. Nature

 

Beans and Greens…

I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot. Vegans need to eat their “beans and greens” to get calcium and protein. So I’ve been working on being more purposeful about this.  And today for lunch I made a delicious vegan feast. On my plate was sauteed spinach with shallots, garlic, raisins, and oranges. I have also heard it’s better to eat citrus with greens to aid in absorption of the nutrients. Hence the oranges.  Next was a warm multigrain flat bread with hummus, Texas caviar, and cucumber slices.  I wish I could eat lie this for every lunch because it was so good and a power house of nutrition.


Beans and Greens

Dinner was good but nothing fancy and not really worth posting. I made Whole Wheat Rigatoni and I tossed in pan fried rounds of field roast Italian sausage with the sauce. YUM.  Green beans on the side and it was dinner. Not fancy but tasty just the same.

Gardein

I’ve slowly been working my way through trying the new Gardein products.  So far I have  liked everything I’ve tried! Tonight I used the Chick’n Scallopini. I basically followed the scallopini recipe but put my own twist on it by topping it will fresh sun-dried tomato basil pesto.  I didn’t have any capers and it just needed something.  Added some grains and broccoli on the side and it was a delicious meal!

Chick'n Scallopini with sundried tomato basil pesto

What do you think of the new line of Gardein products?

Noodles

I’ve been a little obsessed with noodles lately.  I just love the “al-dente” bite of a perfectly cooked noodle and the versatility of pasta as a food. So tonight was Vegan Tofu Pad Thai and it was delicious and filling.  I cut corners and used Tasty Bites Simmer Sauce but added my own combo of veggies and extras. For vegans a “quick dinner” can sometimes be tricky so when you want to get dinner fast these sauces are great.

Vegan Pad Thai

Today I went to Mimi Clark’s Grains and Beans cooking class. It’s a bit of a drive for me but I always leave with new information, coupons and a full belly so it’s worth it.  We sampled more food than I can list but I am especially looking forward to making the Molten Lave Black Bean Brownies, Lentil Walnut Pate, and the Two-Grain Sesame Salad.  Yummmmm….

On the weight loss front, Sunday’s are my weigh-in day and I am three pounds closer to my 50 pound goal.  Making my grand total lost 17 pounds so far!! With only 33 pounds to go, I am not feeling so overwhelmed.  But I am trying to look at smaller goals. So I am taking it 10 pounds at a time. I really wanted to join a gym but with out budget being so tight it’s probably not going to happen. I am asking the universe for the ability to do it on my own or to bring a free trainer into my life!

Hard work and a Vegan Diet…

That’s my new motto for getting to my goal weight.  I didn’t do so good sticking to the kickstart meal plan because I always got the meal plan after I did my shopping! But this week I planned and made my grocery list with the week one meal plan in mind.  We’ll see how I do. I made it almost the entire 21 days without any dairy but got tripped up at a wedding and while out with friends.  We’ll see how the next 21 days goes.

A new school year is underway, bringing it’s usual amount of stress and chaos back to my life, making it hard to exercise.  I am trying to figure out how to be more balanced and stress free. I think exercise will help if I can just get myself into a routine. I miss the lazy days of summer but I also love the feeling I get when a day of teaching goes smoothly.

Tomorrow I’m off to Grains and Beans cooking class with Mimi Clark. Check out her blog here. She hosts great vegan cooking classes in her home in VA. This will be the third class of hers I have attended.  I’ll keep you posted!

On the road Vegan….

The hubs and I are off to VT for the weekend and its my first time away from home as a vegan. I packed a lot of snacks! You’d think I was going to the middle of nowhere for a year! When in truth there are health food stores where I’ll ben but I didn’t want to risk it. I am already tired, you don’t want to see me tired and hungry! I just figured the airport would have much I could eat and there will probably be times when there is no vegan choice. I am trying to be a “good” vegan and be prepared. We’ll see how it goes…..

Cooking hit and miss…

As much as I enjoy cooking and feel fairly competent at it, I still have times when I make things and they just taste bad.  The Mr. says “when it comes to teaching and cooking you are too hard on yourself.” There is definitely some truth to this! But that aside, dinner tonight was not good.  I tried to make vegetable paella and it just didn’t turn out right. I blame the recipe. :) There was a funny taste and neither the Mr. or myself liked it, so the whole thing went into the garbage. Serious bummer.  Not only did I feel like I failed but it was also a gross waste of food.

I also experimented with Kale tonight. I’ve been reading a lot about how it’s a “nutritional powerhouse.” Especially for vegans so I’ve been wanting to try it.  I made Kale chips and sauteed kale. I wouldn’t say either was a success or a failure. I am still on the fence about it.  I guess I need more practice with that veggie.

On the bright side, I made Carrot Spice and Cinnamon Swirl mini muffins that are just delightful! I got the recipes from FatFree Vegan. So they’re healthy too! I just used a mini-muffin tin instead of regular size.

I am traveling this weekend so I was trying to make some snacks for the plane. I don’t think the kale will hold up but the muffins should be good. I guess I can’t win em’ all…

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