Look what happened now...
It's been awhile and I have no excuse other than I have had company almost every single day since late June! The last bunch is leaving Monday and then hopefully I can catch up on blogging.
Life is really good now. I have really enjoyed visiting with everyone and exploring the area. Its great to see things through other people's eye. You, or at least I, forget how beautiful every day life can be.
So truthfully we are spending most of our time outside in the garden and of course eating!
I'm enjoying a low key summer for a change. There are so many AMAZING travel deals right now, but I cannot get away from work yet. I'm still working almost every day, but hiring additional folks has really helped, so hopefully by next year we can return to the travel life. (Fingers crossed.)
I really hope you are having a great summer!
I promise to put together a proper post soon,
For the long time readers of the blog, (thank you both, lol) you know I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 18 and vegan for 5 + years now, but I still get asked questions like, “What do you eat?!”
So now that vegans and vegetarians are much more mainstream, chances are good you may find yourself invited over for dinner. What can you expect?
Well, first off don’t panic! If a gourmet chef invited you for dinner you would expect to try some sublime foods that you had never tried before. If a specialty pizza chef invited you for dinner, you would expect to eat some incredible pizza that evening. You would probably even look forward to the bits of flair that would be added to the plates and table as you sampled this new cuisine, yeah?
So what happens when your vegetarian friend invites you to dinner? Will it be a GIANT bowl of raw salad, sans dressing and heavy on the kale? Hardly, if you are lucky enough to be invited to a vegetarian’s home for dinner you can expect a culinary adventure!
Now that being said, there are many different types of vegans and vegetarians and people are all different. I for one, am not a fan of curry. (Insert hate mail here, lol) Which is the one guaranteed vegetarian meal on all flights… #FML
Anyway, enough about airplane food…If you yourself are not a vegetarian, you should be open to trying a couple of new and interesting foods at your *BVFF’s house.
(*Best Veggie Friend Forever)
Don’t be afraid to try meat alternatives, if they serve you any, most meat eaters love them, once they get over the “TOFU FEAR” that most people seem to have. Just come hungry and enjoy yourself in a new environment of tastes and smells.
I have a few tips to get you ready for what you may encounter on a typical vegetarian table. Are you game?
Vegetarians frequently use strong seasoning in order to bring out flavors more effectively in foods that don’t necessarily add their own flavor to a dish. There is a high likelihood of finding characteristic flavorings from other cultures. So expect to try some new flavors.
Traditional vegetarian cultures have influenced American vegetarians quite a bit. Indian spices are very popular in combination with vegetarian entrees and sides. But as I said not everyone eats Curry.
Spices, herbs and seasoning from Mexico, Italy, and of course Asian cooking, are popular in vegetarian cooking. Ingredients such as peppers, soy sauces and sesame oil are also quite common in most vegetarian kitchens. Depending on the individual, of course, but its a safe bet that you can expect richly flavored dishes rather than simple salt and pepper.
Favorite Dishes for Non-Vegetarian Guests
So, what is it that you will be eating that will be seasoned so beautifully? There are a few options.
Protein source - could be beans, mushrooms, lentils, quinoa or Tofu. Tofu and tempeh are common soy products, that are now easily found in most US markets. They both receive flavor very efficiently and are easy to make fit any dinner mold. In addition to the protein portion of your meal, expect a colorful variety of vegetables. A spoonful of peas or corn would be insufficient for a nutritious vegetarian meal, so expect more varieties and larger servings.
Finally, the carbohydrates will finish off your plate. Potatoes are a possibility, but it is more likely that you will find pasta, rice or risotto. If you are not accustomed to eating vegetarian meals, you will be surprised at the filling and satisfying results that an experienced vegetarian cook can produce. #WIN
Now, that being said, of course there are many different types of vegetarian meals, way too many for me to list here.
The important thing to do is to be willing to sit down at the table with an open mind. Get ready to enjoy something new, fun and delicious. Vegetarian foods are definitely unique as compared to typical American fare, but they make for an incredible dining experience.
Catch you later-
This dish was super easy and quick to make. I roasted garlic, asparagus and grape tomatoes in the oven while the couscous was cooking. (It was seasoned with green onions and veggie stock.)
Then plated the couscous and put roasted veggies, more green onions and slivered almonds over the top. #WIN and instant favorite!
Meanwhile the rains have started.
So I'm not complaining at all.
Catch you later-
I haven't been reviewing any boxes lately because I actually figured you were tired of seeing the same old thing....but I did get a Spring Fab Fit Fun box in and some really awesome Vegan snacks though and thought I would share.
Are you like me and love mystery subscription boxes? It's really nice getting something other than junk mail or bills in the post, lol. So here is what I received in March:
There were a few items I didn't really care about and a few that were not vegan so I donated, but for only $49.99 I still feel like I got my money's worth. I will probably go ahead now and purchase a yearly subscription. You save $20 by doing this and get first pick on "add ons". If you want to try and a box (and save some money too!) use this link: SAVE You get $10 off your 1st box!
(This is my 3rd box!) It works out to right around $200USD worth of stuff...and almost ALL of it is full size, so you get to actually try the products out.
The Vegan Cuts box is $22.95 (including shipping) - it goes down in price if you buy a 6 month or year sub. There are always at least 10 and sometimes 15 products inside. I didn't take many pictures, because at the time I wasn't planning on posting a review. UH OH....but yeah you get the idea right? I have been getting this box for over 2 years and it only gets better each month. #WIN
And not from a box (but notice my new candle, lol) I have been eyeing these marble trays for some time. I finaily broke down and bought one. I love it and have no idea why I waited so long!
So what boxes do you get? Are there any good ones I should check out? Leave me a comment - I'm always looking to try new products and find cool, vegan or off beat stuff.
Once again save $10 off your first FFF box here and enjoy your weekend!
See you at the airport~
How can March almost be over?
This month has flown by!
So how has your month been? March has been wonderful for me. Work is going great, lots of good things are in the works (more about them soon!) And I even found time to read a bit. #WIN
More book and product reviews soon.
Plus more travel tales and more all around randomness!
Catch you Later~
How are you? Instead of my random blog post I compiled a super short video.
What do you think?
How can the weekends fly by so fast?
I know, its because so much happens in such a short time, right? Hope your weekend was good. I actually worked all weekend long. Friday was a twenty hour day at the office. #Yikes and Yes, I said 20 hours. #FML
We have a big launch going on and are beginning new projects too, so it's really crazy. I mean long hours and lots of work. On the bright side the boss, (Aka ME) buys lots and lots of Pizza for everyone! #Win
When not eating pizza at work, I have been trying to eat healthy. I have a smoothie or smoothie bowl every morning for breakfast and a bowl of greens before falling into bed. I actually have lost more weight, I don't have a scale but I was going through old clothes the other day, looking for something suitable to paint in and put on a pair of pants I have not been able to wear in 5 years.
So it just goes to show you can eat as much as you want (and eat WELL) and still lose weight. I have vegan nice cream, loaded with nuts and healthy toppings everyday.
Of course I also binge on Greens and not chips or cookies.
Did you know Brussel Sprouts were so good for you?
They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of nutrients including folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids.
People say they taste like cabbage, but I don't think so. I used to either boil them or cut them in half and roast them in the oven, but I discovered you could eat them raw! So I am super lazy, after a long day - I make a big bowl and fall into bed to watch anime and munch on them before passing out.
There really hasn't been anything on lately I wanted to watch, so I'm back to anime. I did just watch Altered Carbon this month and really enjoyed it. What did you think?
Some people loved it and others were lost. I like SCFI so even though it was learning new lingo, (how many sleeves did that lady have??) I thought it was a good watch.
I am also doing my best to mask and hydrate before bed. All this cold weather has us running the heater nonstop and it's pulling all the moister out of the air. Even though I live with a water bottle in each hand, this can really dry out your skin.
Have a great week and see you at the airport!
It's almost SPRING!
The official date for Spring, in the Northern Hemisphere is March 20, 2018, and I can't wait. I enjoy winter, but I'm looking forward to spring this year. I love flowers and of course all the fresh vegetables. I plan on planting another garden and expand my kitchen herb collection.
So I have already started looking for pots, seeds and any/all tools to get a jump on the growing season. I found this 3 Tier Stackable Garden - for indoor/outdoor use. I like the fact that it is self watering and I can expand the number of fresh herbs I can grow NOW and I don't have to wait for warmer weather. It's not too big so you can use it in the kitchen or on the patio. Best part it's under $25USD on Amazon!
Also by growing in my kitchen I have the fresh herbs handy when I need them, plus I keep bugs and critters out of the pots.
It should also help keep the locals out of my pots. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a toad in the yard on or the patio, but not so much in the oregano.
I also really like this Earth Box kit. (It has wheels! How smart is that?) Plus it comes with everything you need- I know I hate driving into town for fertilizer or planting mix. Each trip I find more things I "need" and end up spending $50 when I went in for a $5 item. This kit is a little bit more pricey at $57 but I figure it paid for itself by eliminating all those extra trips into town. You can grow vegetables, herbs and flowers on windowsills, on your deck or even the balcony, or take it inside - with our unpredictable weather I like that I can easily bring the box inside quickly. Plus container gardening means no weeding!
And if you are just starting out gardening and are unsure about which supplies or tools you need this kit has got it all including non gmo seeds. It comes complete with:
I'm ordering one for each of my nieces and nephews so they can start gardening, too. Have you started planting yet? Nothing beats a early Spring garden full of fresh, homegrown vegetables. MMMMM I'm already looking forward to being over run with squash and strawberries!
I will update you on the garden process over the next few weeks and also don't forget I'm planning that BIG Pacific trip - so any advice on where to go/stay/see/avoid would be appreciated.
This is my 8th blog post of 2018. Last year I blogged 127 times, that makes 10.58 blog posts per month, almost 2 blog posts per week. HEY THAT’S NOT BAD. Considering that it is a luxury to actually have time to sleep.
I even made the effort to update the look of the website and added video headers, plus some new pages. I have also opted to add a few affiliate links. I’m actually not sure if I want to continue them, we shall see. I also tried to refrain from bitching about work and being constantly exhausted all the time.
My 2018 new year resolution is blog at least 3 posts per week. I have never really cared if anybody reads this silly little blog, it has been more about documenting some of the places I’ve been and the insights I’ve had. So I am always surprised that people do follow. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU! 🙂 for your continued support.
Okay back to reviewing 2017...
This is somewhat surprising.
We are still here, on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. I post mostly landscapes and of course food picture from here or random selfies, lol.
Honestly I am so in love with the mountains and the blue sky here and of course the house. We have a nice garden and mostly this feels like heaven. So I try to keep the house tidy and minimal even though it's big 2 story with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a huge bonus room I use for an office, but I don't actually talk much about the house. The kitchen is nice, much better than what we had in the UK, but not as well thought out as the kitchen in France. But it works for us, as you may have noticed I am sharing more food picts and recipes.
More Vegan Food
I have posted more and more vegan recipes and cooking stuff in general this past year. Mostly because I have been home more and have the ability to cook more. I still want to remind you I am NOT a food blogger.
I think I have taken more selfies in 2017 than all the past years combined. Remember when you wondered what I looked like? Yeah, those days are long gone.
But back to my hair, it is still blonde - And yes, I’m bored with it. I considered cutting it off this year, but I think I will wait another year. It grows pretty fast though and if I do not flat iron it you
can see it is really thick. Using the flat iron may make the style look better - but I hate how thin and flat it looks. :(
Travel in 2017
Travel this past year was sparse. Well, compared to other years when I'm running back and forth to NOLA, Florida or France. But I did mange a few adventures...
Janurary here in central New Mexico started out snowing...
I am still impressed with snow.
It was fun for a few days and then it was over. #Goodtimes
Jan - left the odd snow storm and headed to New York City. It was dark, cold and snowing there too. But New York is always amazing no matter what the weather is like.
This trip was part busines/part fun.
In February we left the dark and flew to Iceland.
This was a destination that's been on my son's bucket list for years, but I was not that excited. But guess what? I LOVED IT!
And totally not what I expected. It did snow while we were there, but we still managed a night trip to see the Northern Lights. We stayed 7 days and it was not long enough. I'm sure we will return soon.
March was a short Vegas get away and April was me at home planting a garden and experimenting in the kitchen.
May I had company and showed them around the area here. You can read about it here. I also started a mini food diary to share what I eat (people still ask) and what I typically purchase at the market.
August I began "What Are You Reading?" A quick review of my recent reads and such. Work was still very busy, but I made my mind up I was going to make time to read and relax more.
September another review and of course the hurricane hitting my home in Texas. I actually didn't talk much about it. Maybe this year I will be able to share more, it's just completely overwhelming. STILL.
October was Halloween and I was supposed to go to NOLA for a right old party, but I came down with a bug and spent it in bed. #FML (But look out this year!)
November I blogged about American Myths and more book reviews. We debated on going somewhere exotic for Christmas, but decided against it. After spending the holidays in Europe and other amazing places it was nice to just stay in and chill for a change. We did explore around the area, here some. Check out this short video if you want to see an ancient Native American site we hiked.
I also posted more about my not so secret love of flowers and house plants this past year.
So I posted more about gardens and houseplants than ever before. It's not quite an obsession, but almost.
So all in all it was a great year. We didn't travel as much as usual, but that's okay too. I'm so thankful we are able to live in a nice place, with lots of natural beauty and good people.
I'm also thankful for you, taking the time to read my silly little blog. I appreciate it and the encouraging emails I get from ya'll. Thank you for your friendship and support!
Do you have big plans for this year? I can't wait to see what adventures 2018 will bring!
See you at the airport-
So it's Saturday night and I was minding my own business...
Yes, it's gonna be that kinda story.
I have spent my day off whipping up vegan treats and catching up with friends via social media. #BestDayEver!
One of the treats I made was a lovely bunch of Vegan Raw Fudge. Recipe was so simple and quick that I should make weekly. But then I would be eating fudge weekly and well...maybe not a good idea either.
If you follow me on SC you saw my heavenly creation among my daily random snaps.
Now I do make other things, they just don't look as pretty as the dessert, so I rarely post them. But tonight as I was cooking, and I was also talking to one of friends, he was teasing me about the fudge and we were private snapping back and forth....So I sent him this video of what I was cooking at the moment. Please note dear reader, this was a private video but I was not naked, not everything that happens on SC is porn related. BUT, It did get me in serious trouble!
I was cooking, and not paying attention to WTF I was doing and sent not to him, but to my stream... and the fall out was almost immediate!
"WTF! Is that Chicken?!"
"IS THAT CHICKEN?!"
"How can you cook chicken!"
"That's gross chicken!"
"I thought you were a vegan!"
And more of that....
Okay in my mind that's clearly not chicken.
Isn't this chicken????
I was clearly not cooking THAT!
What I was frying (How dare I right? But I was using orgainic Olive Oil, I actually linked it below the recipe for your insepction) was clearly NOT chicken, it was TOFU, you know, that thing every vegan is supposed to eat? I rarely eat it, but thought I wanted to try this receipe for a change of pace. #GoMe and didn't that work out well...
Here is the actual recipe for my Fried Tofu Nuggets:
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
• 1 block extra-firm organic tofu (NOT CHICKEN)
• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
• 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 2 tablespoon water
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 3/4 cup of oat flour (I made my own from whole oats - aka oatmeal)
• 4 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to fry the tofu)
• A dash of Himalayan salt
• A side of your favorite sauce for dipping
1 Drain the tofu, and cut into nugget sized pieces. NOTE: DO NOT USE CHICKEN
2 Once cut, lay the tofu pieces on a clean dishtowel, and then wrap them up in the towel. Put a cutting board on top, and balance something heavy, such as a few cans on top of that. This is how you press the tofu to help release excess water. Let the tofu press for 10 to 30 minutes, the longer you press it, the drier and more firm the it will be. Note: It will not turn into chicken.
3 When you are ready to make your tofu, mince the garlic cloves and add them to a large flat bowl that is big enough to fit your nuggets.
4 Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the garlic bowl: the tomato paste/ketchup, dijon mustard, maple syrup, water, and pepper, whisk together.
5 In a separate dish that is also big enough to fit the tofu, add the oat flour.
6 Dip the tofu in the tomato mixture, and use a spoon or fork to help spread a thick layer of the sauce on the tofu. Now dip the sauced tofu into the oat flour and use your hand to help pat the flour onto the tofu. Repeat with remaining tofu pieces.
7 Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, carefully fry the tofu pieces until they are golden brown on both sides, and heated through. About 3 to 6 minutes per side. The breading can be a little fragile and falls off easily, be gentle when handling the tofu. (Still not chicken)
8 Serve with sticky rice and a side of your favorite dipping sauce.
Serves two - three people.
It is actually very, very good!
I found this basic recipe on line and added my own twists to it. But clearly NOT chicken.
Here are the oats I ground up in my food processor and the tofu I used...
And the other ingredients...See no chicken!
Those are affiliate links, if you want to buy straight from them, I do get a few pennies from the sale. It does not affect your cost at all and helps to keep me in tofu and maple syrup. I'm hoping to save enough money to take Snap Chat lessons so that I never make this mistake again.
Have a good weekend and can I call you for bail money if the Vegan cops don't believe me? We ate all the evidence.
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives. I'm just an average woman in the world. Follow my journeys as I travel, shop, and meditate my way through life...
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