Monday, April 18, 2011

No Other Way

The new blog is up and running. Join me at I've been posting there for about a month now. And like I said, Veganatic will remain up because I have lots of my favorite recipes here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Different Direction

I've been gone for awhile. A whole lotta life seems to happen between blog posts, I have noticed. One thing that you may be interested in is that I am re-thinking my blogging. Not as in quitting but as in re-directing.

I began my blog in January of 2010 with the original intent of sharing culinary techniques and recipes. I have enjoyed, learned from, and come to respect so many vegan bloggers over the past few years and I wanted to join their ranks with my own contributions.

At first it was fun just to share my recipes and photos. My friends and family were supportive but as the year has gone by I have discovered several things.

I knew from the beginning that I would not be a traditional vegan blogger. That was obvious because I am not a traditional, stereotypical vegan. I am an evangelical-leaning, conservative - both politically and theologically - vegan. Put bluntly, I am a weirdo. I don't really "fit" in anybody's camp.

What's more, my readers (at least the ones I know about) continue to be folks who are more conservative-leaning who want to argue me down, or people who are looking towards a healthier lifestyle and are curious about why we have made the choices we have, not just about veganism but about our health care and points of view on issues like being good stewards of Creation.

I have found myself defending the vegan way quite a bit lately. I have discovered a great deal of resistance to this "radical" lifestyle, especially among fellow Believers who simply cannot fathom how an evangelical-conservative-type could even consider something that has stereotypically belonged to the more liberal camps. After all, God created the animals to be eaten, right?

That last sentence makes me crazy. Even a cursory reading of the first 3 chapters of Genesis make it clear that that is not the case.

But I digress. My point in this post is to say that this will likely be my last one on Veganatic. One reason is what I wrote about above - my audience.

The other - and primary - reason is that I am finding I have more to say than seems to belong in a blog dedicated to vegan recipes. I have some thoughts to share on healthy, ethical living that encompass more than veganism. That doesn't mean I will no longer share recipes; I will. And I will continue to defend the vegan way; I have never been one to run away from an argument, as anyone who knows me will confirm!

I am finding, however, just as most people do along their life journey, God is doing more than one thing at the same time and I feel the need for a different venue to chronicle those things. I also have some thoughts on faith that also seem to demand a different venue.

So, thank you for reading Veganatic. It has been fun and it has been a blessing to me to write it. It will stay here with all my posts so if you liked one, you can still find it. Be on the lookout, though, for my new blog, No Other Way. It isn't up and running yet, but when it is, you will find it at I will post a link here when the new one is up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What in the World Does a Vegan Eat, Part II,

Well, this might not have been the best week to post my daily diet, but I did warn you that there are almost always curve balls / changes in the plan during the week, and this week is a perfect example. The only thing that isn't likely to change is breakfast, which is almost always toast and smoothie.

Sorry that there are no photos this post. That's a first for me. I tried, I really did. As you will read later in the post, my camera phone died just as I was snapping a picture and then the pictures I took of the Curried Red Lentils just looked gross. I could be more descriptive about just how nasty the pictures looked, but I'll spare you...... If you saw the photos, you'd never make the recipe! I promise to come up with some better shots next time I make them.

Tuesday night was Spin, so dinner was a quick peanut butter and - are you ready for this - cranberry chutney sandwich. Yep. I was out of any kind of jam or jelly, so cranberry chutney it was. And yes, it was YUMMY!

Wednesday was a crazy. It was one of those days at work and I had a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day. I ended up having a veggie sub from Subway with some chips on my way back from my appointment. That was so not worth a picture.

I was too tired to even heat up leftovers, so my ever-so-thoughtful husband took me to my current favorite eatery, Bluegrass Brewing Company for dinner. I always have the same thing - a spinach/walnut burger with homemade chips and cabbage slaw. Oh, and a Raspberry Mead. That burger is definitely photo-worthy, but just as I snapped the picture with my phone's camera, my iPhone died! Really, it did. Yesterday was a hard day.

Today (Thursday) was a bit tamer. Standard breakfast. Lunch was leftovers - Creamy Lasagna Casserole. The longer that stuff sets in the fridge, the better it tastes. Seriously good.

And dinner tonight was Curried Lentils over basmati rice. This is a very quick and easy meal. It's another one that tastes better as leftovers.

Tomorrow's lunches will be leftovers - there are several choices in the fridge. Noodle Soup, the casserole, or tonight's lentils. Paul will have to take both his lunch and dinner with him in the morning since he has Pageant rehearsal tomorrow evening and won't be home til late. While he's gone, I'll get the grocery shopping done for next week, make Wesley's dog food, and update you on what we ate.

Here is the Curried Red Lentils recipe. Like I said, quick, easy, yummy!

1 cup red lentils
1 tbs olive oil
2 veggie bullion cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbs curry powder
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
water to cover lentils

Rinse and sort lentils.

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and fry until they pop. Add onion, curry powder, chili powder, and cayenne. Cook until onion is translucent.

Add lentils. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve as is or over rice.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What in the World Does a Vegan Eat, Part I

I've been noticing that most of my readers, at least the ones I get comments from, are non-vegans. Some of you are loyal friends and family, supporting my blogging efforts because you love me, some are health-conscious omnis looking for healthy recipes or who are at least considering the vegan leap, and others are confounded carnivores who just can't figure out why in the world somebody would give up Big Macs and ribeyes for tofu and seitan. So, the idea came to me this morning as I was chopping salad and making seitan for the week that it would be fun to document everything I eat this week. Break it down to how we eat on a daily, meal-by-meal basis.

I am writing this on Sunday, so I hav
e already missed photographing my breakfast and lunch, but that's okay - they are easily described. My breakfast this morning was two slices of cold pizza leftover from game night last night. It was topped with onions, red and green peppers, mushrooms, Field Roast vegan sausage, and Daiya vegan cheese. I will admit that I used pre-made whole wheat organic pizza crusts from Whole Foods. No matter - the pizza was yummy last night and even better cold this morning! Reminded me of my college days......

Lunch was a big ol' salad of mixed baby greens and cucumbers, toasted almonds, flax seeds, and creamy tahini salad dressing. I'll be eating more of this salad later in the week, so I'll take pictures then.

Sunday evening I've already deviated from the plan. I just can't help myself - cooking is my creative outlet! I decided to try a new seitan recipe just for grins. There was a big pot of simmering broth left after I made the seitan and of course I had to use it to make soup!

I added some chopped celery and carrots, some delight soy popcorn chik'n, and 1/2 a package of linguine, broken into thirds, to the leftover broth. That sim
mered for half an hour or so and we had chik'n noodle soup for supper! Once again, the photo will have to wait....

Monday breakfast Had my normal breakfast of toast and smoothie. Toast is nothing exciting to photograph - a couple slices of organic whole wheat bread with some Earth Balance. My smoothie has mango, banana, and collard greens. Paul's breakfast is always a Clif bar and his smoothie.

Monday lunch Had my salad finished before I remembered to take a picture, but here is the Chik'n Noodle Soup I had for lunch today. Paul's lunch today was leftover Creamy Lasagna Casserole that I made on Saturday.

Monday dinner I stuck to the script tonight for dinner. I made my version of VeganDad's Cajun Chickpeas. I ate mine wrapped in whole wheat lavash with a little vegenaise. (The lavash didn't make the photo....) and pan roasted brussels sprouts.

Paul had his on top of some of that yummy salad I made Sunday, along with some raw organic cashews.

I probably won't be posting tomorrow night because it is a Spin night and we won't get home til late. I'll post Tuesday's meals along with Wednesday's.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On the Menu....

It's bugging me that the little corner fruit and veggie market 1/2 mile from my house is closed now. They close on Christmas Eve and don't open again til March. Their produce is really fresh, organic, for the most part, and much cheaper than Whole Foods. My goal for next year (as it was last year, but I blew that one....) is to grow more of our food ourselves. We have some friends who are very generous from their garden, but I really want to do better this year!

Each week I plan my menu - and make my grocery list - on Thursday or Friday. Then I shop on Friday afternoon after work. Okay, I gotta tell the truth. Most of the time, Paul does the shopping for me. His work is much closer to Whole Foods and I get a little wigged out by traffic.

So today I'm posting the menu for the entire week for your reading pleasure. And even though I have planned the menu, that doesn't mean I will stick too closely to it. Seems like there's always at least one curve ball during the week and we end up going out or eating leftovers.

So here is what I plan to make for the week. I'm not saying which day I'll make what, because that always depends on how I feel when I get home from work! Green Smoothies and fresh fruit are on the menu daily, and most main course recipes are served with a green salad or other green veggie.

Creamy Lasagna Casserole
Vegan Pizza with Daiya vegan cheese
Basic Lentil Dahl
Bean and Barley Stew
Cajun Chickpeas (based on this recipe, with a number of changes)
Ethiopian Cabbage

Hopefully I'll find time to follow up on the results of each dish that I actually make. The only thing on this week's menu that I haven't made before is the Ethiopian Cabbage. I'm not worried about how this will turn out, though. Every single ingredient is something we love, so how could it fail?

Each week I try to make one big "pot o' something" that will provide lunches for us to carry through the week. This week it is the Lasagna Casserole. This is loosely based on this vegan lasagna recipe from I have made this as lasagna, but I find that the casserole is much less time consuming and much less messy!

Creamy Lasagna Casserole

16 oz rotini pasta, cooked half as long as pkg directions
1 cup red lentils

2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped (or use an 8 oz jar of prepared roasted red peppers)
1 onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
3 large clove garlic, minced

oil, as needed
4 cups tomato pasta sauce (jarred or homemade)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pkg Daiya mozzarella style vegan cheese

White Sauce
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons flour, plus more as needed (I used chickpea flour and it works great)
1 tbs nutritional yeast

pinch of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups nondairy milk, divided

I roasted my red peppers on top of the stove this time, directly over open flame. I'd never done it this way before, and I probably won't do it that way again. It was kinda neat and novel, but much messier than the way I usually do it, which is to halve the peppers, remove the seeds, and put them on a baking sheet under the broiler. Which ever way you choose, freshly roasted peppers are delicious and much better than the jarred kind.

r directions on how to roast fresh peppers, go here.

Roast the peppers, place in a paper bag, and set aside to cool.

In a medium sauce pan, cover the red lentils with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. REduce to a simmer and cook until they look mushy.

Cook the rotini per package directions, but only half as long.
drain and set the pasta aside.

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add onions, celery, garlic, and mushrooms, and cook until onions are translucent.

Peel off the blackened skins and chop the roasted peppers. Add them to the pot.

Add lentils, tomato sauce, and seasonings and stir to combine well. Reduce to a slow simmer, cover, and let cook while you prepare the white sauce.

Put the Earth Balance, flour, and nutritional yeast in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until Earth Balance is melted and the mixture is bubbling. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Whisk in 1 cup of the milk. Continue to whisk gently to mix. When the the mixture is very thick, remove from heat and add the other cup of milk, whisking until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the prepared pasta to the tomato sauce. Stir gently until pasta is even distributed.

Add the entire package of Daiya and again stir gently until cheese is evenly distributed.

Now pour the white sauce over the mixture, once again stirring gently to distribute the sauce throughout the casserole.

Transfer the casserole to a baking dish. You may want to set the whole thing on a cookie sheet to prevent spills in the oven. Mine bubbled over.

Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the casserole is bubbling. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

The finished product!

Not sure what I'm doing wrong with my camera these days, but my pictures keep
coming out blurry. I'll keep working on it.....

The plan may already be changing. I'm thinking about a creamy pumpkin risotto recipe I saw recently. Stay tuned.....