Wednesday, November 28, 2012

From The Daily Love - Daily Share - My gratitude post


I am very excited! The Daily Love one of my most favorite inspirational blogs featured my post:
I AM - Living in A Place of Gratitude on their blog today! I am not only living in gratitude, I am also honored and humbled! 

The Daily Love:: Daily Share – Living in A Place Of Gratitude!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My First Vegan Thanksgiving

I survived! I should have a tee shirt made! Even though I am completely committed to my new plant based life style, I was worried I might have a minor setback, after all I was going to be surrounded for the first time in months, by all the food I once loved and enjoyed all in one place all at the same time. Talk about sensory overload!

A Type A Vegan: Since making the transition I have limited myself to eating at home or taking my home cooked food with me, if I do eat out, I select the restaurants in advance making certain they have vegan options and since I am a creature of habit, I have spots that I frequent often. 

The Turkey’s are coming, the turkeys are coming! As some minor anxiety loomed, I did a little research, during my discussions with people that were like me, former meat eaters, now Vegan or Vegetarian, some admitted they failed the first time they were stuck in a meat - a - thon. Others said all that meat did not tempt them at all. For me it was a mixture of success and challenge. Let’s start with the positive; being only about 8 months into this process I must say I was pretty proud of myself. I was not tempted at all to taste or eat the meats that surrounded me, in fact a funny and unexpected thing happened to me, I became a little nauseous from the smell of the cooking meat and had to step out for a while. The former meat eating Christine would have been salivating!  

Now the confession: I did have a desire to "chew" something meat like (if that makes any sense) so my husband was ready, he made some baked fish and shrimp just in case I did want something else. When I first made the transition to a plant based lifestyle, I kept fish around as a part of my diet, then, when I was ready, I cut the umbilical cord. It was comforting to know it was there for me if I needed to turn to it. And, I found that I did so, I had a small serving of fish and a few shrimp on my Thanksgiving plate. The remainder of my plate consisted of wild rice and many assorted yummy veggie options. 

There's something different: Ah the post Thanksgiving bloat! I must say, I did not miss that Thanksgiving bloat that often results after the big eat and, I was still awake long after everyone else fell into the deep, deep tryptophan induced slumber. :) 

Sleppy Kitty

Success! I successfully avoided all the sugar loaded desserts and drinks, instead opting for my own stash of vegan baked goods and treats and sticking to water as my drink of choice. I also made sure I got my work out in and I juiced the morning and afternoon before dinner was served, so I was full and ate less. I don't drink alcohol so that was a non issue for me. Because all of the people I was surrounded by were well aware of my new lifestyle and why I adopted it, they are very supportive. In fact there was quite a bit of concern for my comfort (were there enough "Christine friendly" options no veggies cooked with meats etc.) and I appreciated that. Ultimately, I was very proud of the way I handled my first Thanksgiving as a Vegan. Bring on Christmas dinner, I am so ready! :)

How about you? Are you a new or seasoned Vegan/Vegetarian? How did you handle your very first Thanksgiving? What advice would you give me the next time I am tempted to reach for the fish as a pacifier? Leave your response in the comments; I would love to hear from you.

Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner? Don't Forget These Recipes for Guests with Special Diets

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Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner? Don't Forget These Recipes for Guests with Special Diets

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tomorrow, I'm going to wake up happy.

An excerpt from a chat I had with our 6yo daughter, this evening (we call her little duck) ....

Our Little Duck: "Mama, tomorrow I'm going to wake up happy." 

Me: "Why do you say that baby?" 

Little Duck: Because, I just am... tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day! Let's believe on that! :)

♥ I love this child and every single word that comes out of her mouth! ♥

I think we should all plan to wake up happy tomorrow!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Recipe: Organic Quinoa and Blueberry Salad

I came up with this totally by accident and now it’s one of my most favorite things to eat morning, noon and night!

This is a quick and easy complete meal in a bowl, full of protein, fiber and antioxidants. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Organic Quinoa and Blueberry Salad: 


1 cup organic quinoa
1 cup organic blueberries
Optional: balsamic vinaigrette (to taste)


Cook 1 cup organic quinoa, according to package directions.

Allow the quinoa to cool on the stove then, transfer to a large covered bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Once the quinoa is chilled add one cup (or more!) of fresh washed (preferably organic) blueberries and gently toss together.

You can eat this yummy mixture as is or add a splash of balsamic vinaigrette (you can use store bought or make your own.)


Monday, November 12, 2012

Award Winning Vegan Chocolate Chip Scones (Christine's Accidental Scones)

Yep… you read that right! Award winning! :) I entered these little scones in a bake off and won third place! I won't get fame and fortune but I did win a $25 dollar Amex gift card and bragging rights! And maybe next time someone enters a vegan dish into a bake off the competition will be afraid... very afraid! :)  Don't mess with vegans!

I must share a little back story on this recipe, I happened upon it… it’s mine, but I created it by accident... so I guess you can call these my accidental scones! 

I’m not an experienced baker; the truth is, I have never baked anything in my life that didn't come in a box or a tube. Now that I am engaged in this new lifestyle, I cook a lot more often than I ever have! In an effort to become a “well rounded” cook, I decided to focus on the creation of home baked goods, maybe a sweet treat or two, so I thought I would try some vegan cookies. Well, I had some issue with the cookies especially the whole vegan thing... (I am only a few months into being vegan) I had to figure out what I would use in place of eggs, milk etc. It was a challenge for me; so needless to say, I messed up a few times. By the 3rd batch the cookies got better and the 4th batch was wonderful... but not at all “cookie like” they were more like mini chocolate chip scones! They were delicious, we all loved them! So I decided to forego the whole cookie idea and play with a scone recipe. I pulled up a recipe for a traditional scone and replaced all the ingredients with organic and vegan friendly ingredients then, I just started to create. The end result... these awesome yum-licious vegan chocolate chip scones, aka Christine’s accidental scones!

I was so excited about my creation, and flattered when people started asking for the recipe so... here it is... my "award winning" vegan chocolate chip scones!  Enjoy!

(Christine's Accidental Scones)

1 cup of organic raw sugar or
1/4 cup of Agave Nectar
1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
2 tsp organic vanilla extract
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup carob chips, if you prefer chocolate chips, try vegan friendly semisweet chocolate chips. A good brand I have used is the Enjoy Life dairy, nut and soy free semi sweet chocolate chips available at whole foods.

Preheat oven to 350

Using a hand mixer or a fork, mix together, Earth Balance and sugar (or agave nectar), add vanilla and almond milk (or coconut milk) and mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and combine together, and then add the chocolate chips. Continue mixing until blended together. The batter should be smooth, moist and fluffy.

Using your hands or a serving spoon, scoop up a small portion of the batter and from into a "scone shape" by gently forming the dough into a 7 or 8 inch wide circle (think hamburger patty) that is about 3/4 - inches thick. If you wish, you can use a knife to cut each scone into triangles; or continue to form the shape with your hands. Place on a cookie sheet that has been gently sprayed or lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 to 17 minutes. Best served warm or at room temperature.
*Makes 6-8 scones.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

It’s fall, one of my favorite seasons! I love the sweaters and cuddling on the couch under my favorite blanket, I love long walks in the brisk air and playing in the leaves and I love everything pumpkin!  So it was only fitting that I would find a way to make a healthy vegan pumpkin related treat that I could enjoy with minimal guilt! I’m not so sure that I am the first person to come up with such a thing, so if you have other healthy pumpkin related recipes (shakes, smoothies, desserts etc.)  and you would like to share please do leave them in the comments!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe: 

You can use canned (organic) pumpkin puree or you can use a fresh pie pumpkin, pie pumpkins are the little ones and they are best because they are nice and sweet. I don't like to use the large pumpkin for this recipe... the one pictured was just for looks, we will be using that one for a roasted pumpkin dish and for seeds!

8oz pumpkin, canned or fresh
10oz coconut or almond milk
Dash of Cinnamon- I actually like cinnamon, so I used a little more than a dash, it was more like a spoonful. :)
Dash of Pumpkin pie spice (if you can’t find pumpkin pie spice - use a little allspice or nutmeg)
Dash of ginger (if you don't have ground ginger on hand, a single clove is also nice)
Blend all the ingredients till silky smooth and serve!

You can really take this smoothie to another place with a little dollop of vegan whipped topping... I found a recipe for a great one on the Healthy. Happy. Life. blog. It uses coconut milk!!

You can get that recipe here:

How-to: Whipped Coconut Cream from Coconut Milk


Happy Fall!!     Enjoy!