No Food With Faces

Okay, so I have a really good excuse for not blogging.  I started grad school, and the first 2 weeks were an intensive on campus residency with days that started at 5am and didn’t typically end until midnight or so.  All free moments were spent studying or sleep walking!

FOOD

The university dining did a great job of making me fantastic vegan meals.  Everything from tofu with grilled veggies to yummy curry.  One thing though – no vegan junk food or desserts!  That’s okay (don’t need the junk), but I’ll admit I’ve been craving a vegan cupcake for days!!

this was amazing - grilled veggies and some pan seared tofu with a spicy cilantro sauce!
this was amazing – grilled veggies and some pan seared tofu with a spicy cilantro sauce!
my typical breakfast - oatmeal, granola, fruit, and coffee.
my typical breakfast – oatmeal, granola, fruit, and coffee.
simple salad bar pate and a side of pasta
simple salad bar pate and a side of pasta
taco bar!
taco bar!
had to get off campus one night, so grabbed Whole Foods and went back to my room to study
had to get off campus one night, so grabbed Whole Foods and went back to my room to study
my very fav dish.  the tofu cubes were amazing - and several of my classmates tried (and enjoyed) it.  On a bed of Israeli couscous and veggies.
my very fav dish. the tofu cubes were amazing – and several of my classmates tried (and enjoyed) it. On a bed of Israeli couscous and veggies.

WP_20150821_002

We went to the historic Mitchie Tavern – which is a buffet of very southern food.  D – the ever amazing husband – called them and arranged a special meal for me!  I had black eyed peas, green beans, baked potato, boiled beets, and this ridiculous Spanish gazpacho that I could eat by the gallon…

WP_20150816_016 WP_20150816_015

One of the fun things was answering all the questions from my 27 classmates about my eating habits.  One of my cohort is a vegetarian, but the rest are all traditional food eaters.  When describing being vegan, it became easier to say “no food with faces” or “nothing that had a mother”.  There were a few deeper conversations about why I’m vegan (if I was asked).  I found everyone to be incredibly supportive, and it was very nice.  I don’t expect people to go out of their way for me (I did have some food with me, and there’s always the salad bar), but they definitely did.

FITNESS

Going to try not to laugh here.  I did actually manage one yoga class, some in-room yoga, and two runs.  Quite honestly, during those two weeks, it reminded me of Navy boot camp, but instead of my muscles hurting, my brain did!

I have to say though, I started enjoying my 5 am wake up call.  I mean – not really – but I got a ton done in those 2 hrs before breakfast!  I’m hoping to keep that as a habit.

LIFE

Okay, so yeah – big bomb dropped above.  Sorry for no lead into that one over the past few months.  Needless to say, I’m really excited and quite busy.  Now that the first residency is over, there’s hopefully more of a groove that’ll allow my blogging to be steady again.  Next residency is in December (in Brazil!), so that’ll be cool!

It was hard being away from my family for 2 weeks.  We had a 25 hour period where we were off, and D came up to visit (my university is about 3 hours away).  It was awesome.  I have to say that my classmates are completely amazing too – crazy how close you can grow to people when you live with them for 2 weeks!

I did miss M starting university though, and that was quite upsetting.  He’s doing great and loves it.  He’s also in honors college and is a tutor!

I got home from school late on Friday night, and on Sunday hopped a plane.  I go home Thursday, and aside from the occasional overnighter for work, should mostly be home until my Brazil trip.

So until then, here are some pics of the past few weeks, and an upcoming post will be another book giveaway – of one I relied on quite a bit while away from home!!  Stay tuned for that 🙂

when D came to see me at school!
when D came to see me at school!
after I got home - and Bumble wouldn't leave my side
after I got home – and Bumble wouldn’t leave my side
morning java!!!
morning java!!!
alien cat...
alien cat…

InstagramCapture_d90039ee-78b2-464b-bfda-f8f6e4d09358 V__EB35 WP_20150814_001

morning after I got home and was going through and organizing my school stuff.  R was fascinated by an activity we had...
morning after I got home and was going through and organizing my school stuff. R was fascinated by an activity we had…

And a couple pics from the adventures in my program!

my class as we're piling out of dinner
my class as we’re piling out of dinner
me, A, and O at Monticello (the home of Thomas Jefferson)
me, A, and O at Monticello (the home of Thomas Jefferson)
me and J heading to a site visit
me and J heading to a site visit
walking back from getting our ID's.
walking back from getting our ID’s.
a rare sighting of me in a dress!  This was the opening cocktail reception.
a rare sighting of me in a dress! This was the opening cocktail reception.

Peace friends ~

Crissie

Contest Winner Announced!

Okay, for those wonderfully faithful followers that are sticking with me despite the inconsistent posts, I have your contest winners for Plant Pure Nation!

Here are your players:

Contest Entrants – Plant Pure Nation
Number Name
1 Vegan Needs
2 Sarah at More Than Greens
3 Christine at The Raw Project
4 Steph
5 Risha
6 Chrissy

And here is your winner!

True Random Number Generator

Min:

Max:

Result:2

Powered by RANDOM.ORG

So congratulations to you Sarah – I have no doubt you will LOVE this book!  I’ll be reaching out to you to arrange a copy to be sent via the publisher.

When you can – let me know what you think of i!

 

Crissie

When I Get Rough on a Cookbook, You Know It’s Good! (hint…giveaway time!)

Cookbook Review

The wonderful folks over at Ben Bella Books have gifted me with three books to review for you this summer!  Each one will involve a chance to win your very own copy too!  For now, though, I need to tell you about Plant Pure Nation.  The movie, the book, and that I loved it so much, I’ve pretty much destroyed it…..

I made all the recipes with the sticky notes, and what you possibly can't tell, is that I've spilled on it so many times, that it's a bit warped!
I made all the recipes with the sticky notes, and what you possibly can’t tell, is that I’ve spilled on it so many times, that it’s a bit warped!  The best cookbooks are always the ones that look like they’ve gone through battle though – dripped on, stained, dog-eared, and sticky 🙂

Much in the same vein as one of my favorite veggie movies – Vegucated (seriously….watch it if you can.  Funny, poignant, and available online too!) – Plant Pure Nation is a documentary that is being screened all over the US.  It’s not yet available for sale, and I am hoping that it hits my area of the East Coast soon!  What’s even more fun, is they have published a companion book and that’s what I’m here to tell you about!

Over the past month, I’ve made about 20 of the recipes in here, and have yet to be disappointed.  True, I had a mini-explosion with the Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, but we can talk about that later!

Written by Kim Campbell, with a forward by her famous father-in-law and co-author of one of my favorite books, The China Study, I found Plant Pure Nation to be one of my favorites from this family so far.  The recipes are very flavorful, but also incredibly healthy.  I for one, love to eat healthy, but don’t like to sacrifice flavor.  Life is too short to eat boring food!

Food Porn and Recipe!

Here are some of the few dishes I’ve made, as well as a recipe to share!

Who doesn’t love a good blueberry muffin?  The kids had friends over when these came out of the oven, so they didn’t last long at all!

who doesn't love a great blueberry muffin?  These are Colin's Blueberry muffins, and didn't last long in my house!
perfect breakfast!

Another breakfast dish were the pancakes, which were wonderful.  It’s nice to find a fluffy pancake recipe, and served with a little marmalade, they were fantastic.

WP_20150712_001

the whole breakfast spread that morning - pancakes being the centerpiece!
the whole breakfast spread that morning – pancakes being the centerpiece!

One of my favorites, by far, is the Southwestern Bean Salad.  Plain, on tacos, or on salad, I ate this for days.

WP_20150711_007 WP_20150711_008 WP_20150711_019 WP_20150713_002 WP_20150713_004

The Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread is the only recipe that gave me any trouble.  It blew up slightly, and was a little under cooked in the end.  Easy enough to fix by either using a bigger pan or not letting it raise the entire time.  Cleaning my oven after baking wasn’t too much run, so while a delicious bread, I’ll have to play with it a bit to perfect it.

WP_20150711_009 WP_20150711_010 WP_20150711_015

And finally, a recipe I get to share!  It was delicious both warm and cold, and I used the leftovers as a spread for wraps.

I give to you…

Warm Spinach – Artichoke Dip!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup tofu cashew mayonnaise (only sub here for me, since we’re a Nut Free family is I used Just Mayo instead)
  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • large pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 14 ounce can/jar of artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion and garlic in a small amount of water until tender.  Set aside.
  • In a food processor, blend together the mayo, cannellini beans, lemon juice, water, mustard, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy.
  • Add spinach and artichokes and pulse 8-10 times; do not puree them.
  • Fold the onion and garlic into the tofu mixture.
  • Place the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle with the panko bread crumbs and paprika.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bread crumbs are browned.


WP_20150711_016 WP_20150711_018

This is a great dish and I’ve already made it several times, both for my family, and for parties.  One hint for parties, is to keep it on low in a small crock pot – works perfectly.

Did Someone Say FREE?

Yes!  As a matter of fact, someone did!  So, if you’d like a chance to win your very own freebie copy of Plant Pure Nation, please just leave a comment below with your name and perhaps some information on why this book sounds appealing to you!

I will leave the contest open until Midnight on August 15th!

Good Luck!