The Great Vegan Adventure

Let the Adventures Begin


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The Lunch Room

Last Saturday, B and I went to a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan to visit one of his coworkers that was in the accident with him. Before we went to the hospital, we stopped for lunch at a hip little restaurant beside the farmers market called The Lunch Room. It was so awesome because it was a vegan restaurant!! We don’t have any vegan or vegetarian restaurants in our town, so this was really thrilling to me. Everyone was super friendly and the food was delicious.

I got the Mac and Cheese. They used puréed squash instead of cheese and it was very filling and satisfying.

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B had a BBQ sandwich that looked really yummy. He said that it was really good, but he wished that his meal would have come with more food.

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This was a really cute spot to get a bite to eat in Ann Arbor. The food was a little expensive, but it was a nice little treat. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area.

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Let Me Explain

Earlier this year I promised to post at least once a week and for that last three(?) weeks I have failed you! Let me explain.
February 21 my husband was coming home from a business trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when he was in a sixteen car pile up. He and four of his coworkers were slowing down because of white out conditions when they rear ended a semi. My husband was ok and climbed out of the window and tried to help his coworkers out of the van. Then another semi hit the van. The van hit my husband and sent him flying! He was able to get up and find somewhere safe to wait for help. Someone had a phone and he told them to call his mom, he couldn’t remember my cell number, and tell her what happened and that he was ok. She told me and I spent three hours trying to find him in the hospitals that were 8 hours away from me.

My father-in-law and I drove up through the night to get to him. We took several detours, drove through blizzard conditions and barely made it across the bridge (it had been closed most of the day). What should have taken about 8 hours took us 12 hours, but we made it to him. I am so thankful that he is ok!

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Here is a picture of the van.
On top of that, Baby J’s eczema is still giving him trouble. I have to hold him most of the time to keep him from scratching and he still won’t sleep by himself. My anxiety level is through the roof and my OCD has become too much for me to handle. What can you do? I just breathe deep and try to find my calm. I’ve been feeding my family meals that I made and froze last year so I haven’t really been baking or cooking. Hopefully things calm down and I can get back in the kitchen and do some zen baking.


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Banana Bread

My kids go thorough phases where they cannot get enough of one kind of food and then, out of nowhere, they want nothing to do with it. This week that food was a banana. I purchased a bunch of bananas in bulk because the day before it was all they wanted. But when I tried to feed it to them, A told me she hates bananas and J just squished them between his chubby little fingers. So, when life gives you bananas, make banana bread!

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I made the banana bread recipe from Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Foods and it was super easy and tasty! I omitted the raisins and nuts for J and I ran out of Earth Balance , so I couldn’t make the streusel topping. Despite all of that, A and myself thought this bread was delicious. It was soft and moist and made you want you want to shamelessly ask for seconds and thirds. B told me that he felt it could have been a little sweeter and J thought it was more fun to play with. Overall, we enjoyed this recipe and I can’t wait for my next batch of bananas to get overripe so I can make more banana bread.

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Cheater Chili

Before I left home and moved to the Arctic wasteland that is Michigan six years ago (wow! Six years ago?!) my mom gave me a slow cooker. She said to me,”I can’t send you out into the world without a slow cooker.” I am so grateful for that thing! It is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I also inherited two from my Nana, so I have a total of three slow cookers now! Which is very convenient because when one is dirty I still have two more to cook with.

One of the cookbooks I received for Christmas was The Vegan Slow Cooker and I absolutely adore this book! I usually don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals anymore because I’m always busy with the kids, like taking A to school or picking her up from play dates or taking J to one of his numerous doctor appointments. This cook book is full of recipes that only take about 15 minutes of prep time! I haven’t gotten a chance to make many recipes from this cook book yet, but there are a bunch that I am eager to try.

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I decided to make “Cheater Chili” on one of the days that we were snowed in with almost twenty inches of snow. It was incredibly easy to prepare because it was basically just three cans of beans, a can of tomatoes, a can of corn and some chili powder. However, I think it was a bit flavorless. B really enjoyed it, but the rest of us had a hard time chocking it down. I think next time I’ll stick to my own chili recipe.

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Lentil Stew

Tonight felt like a soup and vegan grilled cheese kind of night. So I made lentil stew from The Kind Diet! B brought home some beautiful produce from the store yesterday. I haven’t been able to go to the store since December because of the flu epidemic in the states, so I’m going a little crazy stuck in this house with two kids under four! Thankfully, April marks the end of flu season and I will be able to leave the house with Baby J and A very soon. Anyway, on to the recipe! Here are some of the lovely veggies my hubby brought home last night.

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After I chopped all those up, I sautéed them with a few tablespoons of olive oil and half of the seasoning mixture.

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Next, you add the broth, water, tomato and lentils.

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After simmering for about 30 minutes it was done!

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All three of us really enjoyed this stew. The spices were a perfect balance and I added more vegetables than what the original recipe called for, but you can never have too many veggies, right? I love that it made such a big batch and I will probably freeze a container or two so I’ll have a quick fix on hand when life gets kind of crazy. Like that ever happens!


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Coffee Fudge Brownies

Things have been really crazy here! I decided to become a doula and signed up for classes, I’m trying to start a baking goods business on Etsy, baby J has some kind of skin condition (we are going to the dermatologist tomorrow), A is still in the terrible two stage even though she is three, and I think I’m losing my mind! But I made brownies from The Kind Diet!

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A was in charge of the dry ingredients and I was in charge of the wet. She pretended to “dig for treasure” and I drank the extra coffee.

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Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. We skipped the nuts because we are trying to see if Baby J has an allergy to them.

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Pour the batter into a greased 9 by 13 baking dish. The recipe says to use a 8 by 8 or 9 by 9, but when I tried that it “baked” into a liquid goo. It was gross and soupy and we had to go without brownies that day.

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After baking for about 30 minutes, these yummy treats came out of my oven. I decided not to make the glaze; I thought that would be too sweet.

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A and I loved them. B loved the flavor, but thought that they were too crumbly. Maybe from the brown rice flour? Anyway, this was a delicious dessert. The coffee accentuated the chocolate flavor and made it hard to stop eating. I can see this being one of my go to recipes for when I need a brownie fix or sugar pick me up!