Summertime Oats

So when Freddie first started eating solid food, we gave him baby oats. It was usually mixed bananas or some other kind of soft fruit. He loved it! After he turned one, I couldn’t bring myself to buy the baby oats anymore. He wouldn’t touch regular oatmeal and that made me a little bit sad. I started making this concoction a few weeks ago, and he asked me to taste it. I, of course, gave him a taste. It wasn’t long before he was eating the whole bowl out from under me and I had to make a double batch for us in the morning.

I have used coconut and cashew yogurt in this mixture and both are delicious. If you are watching your sugar intake, obviously buy unsweetened.

‘Bee free honey is a tasty mixture that I found at Whole Foods. It’s reminiscent of honey but a little bit different. It is made from apples, and is pretty much super natural. Best part is that no bees were harmed in the making of the stuff. Use a drizzle on top if you are a big fan of the yogurt honey combo.

Summertime Oats
This batch of Summertime Oats is topped with bananas, strawberries, toasted coconut, pistachio, and Bee free honey

Summertime Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup nondairy yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar or bowl and refrigerate overnight. Stir in the morning and add any additional toppers. Enjoy!

Optional Additional Toppers:

  • ‘chopped strawberries
  • ‘sliced banana
  • shelled pistachios
  • toasted coconut
  • chocolate chips
  • chopped peaches
  • chopped pineapple
  • maple syrup
  • bee free honey
  • or basically anything else you’d like to sprinkle on top

Cruciferous Chocolate Brownie Smoothie

So forgive me for not taking a picture of this tasty treat. It gets consumed way too fast. Instead here is a lovely shot of cauliflower.

Yup- that’s the secret healthy ingredient in this smoothie. You’d never know it though.

Caulflower has never been my favorite. It just doesn’t get me that excited. I know people like to have mashed cauliflower or roasted cauliflower, and cauliflower is frequently the vegan option at many non-vegan restaurants- bleh.

I have to sneak mine in so that I don’t get any of that yucky cauli-taste, but still can reap the benefits of eating this veg super rich in vitamins.

So behold-

The Cruciferous Chocolate Brownie Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non sweetened almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 dates (remember to take the pits out)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • optional- 1 tablespoon nut butter

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend it up. Sip and enjoy.

Root Chakra Smoothie

Is your root chakra spinning to slow? Too fast? Are you hips feeling a little bit tight? Or are you experiencing a little bit of increased self doubt? Time to do some grounding activities and maybe try this bright red smoothie! Beets from the earth give it a nice base. Berries make it sweet and brighten the flavor. Some greens thrown in for some nourishing nutrition and seeds to help you feel satisfied. So go get your Muladhara on…

Freddie drinking his Root Chakra Smoothie
He never even knew that he ate a beet.

Root Chakra Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup of mixed frozen berries (I like strawberries, cherries, and blackberries)
  • 1/2 of a small beet (about 1/3 cup) raw with skin on- washed and scrubbed
  • 1 banana (frozen preferable)
  • small handful of basil- about 10 leaves
  • 10 ml water- about 1 1/4 cups (or coconut water)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 large leaves of kale (Ilike to use red kale to keep with the theme)
  • optional- 1/4 cup applesauce or 1/2 an apple

Place everything in a blender and process until smooth. it might take a while for the beets to incorporate, but have patience.

Rehoboth Beach Vegan Whirlwind

Three Days to hit all of the good spots

Every summer we make a trip to Rehoboth Beach for a Board meeting that Aaron is required to attend. On the “way” there and back, we stop at his parents’ house on the New Jersey Shore where the dogs take there own little vacation. This year is no exception. We packed up the Tiguan and headed east. I always have to get a bit creative with vegan eats while we visit these beach towns. They aren’t known for being particularly vegan friendly. I think I do a pretty good job of keeping everyone fed and happy.

As soon as arriving, I always check  Happy Cow just to see what’s around. A restaurant that has never popped up made a surprise appearance. I never know if they added a few vegan options or if they were an undiscovered vegan gem. We headed over to “The Cultured Pearl” and enjoyed some vegan teriyaki bowls with edamame, and ginger salad.

‘The next day we ran into a minor challenge. None of the breakfast restaurants open until 8:00 or 8:30 and Freddie wakes up around 6:00. What do you do with a hungry toddler for two hours? We occupied him the best that we could. And showed up for breakfast with a very cranky Little Man at 8:00.

We have been going to a breakfast/lunch place and juice bar for several years. They always have something that the whole family can enjoy. This place is called “Green Man”.

We order two smoothies and “The Curious George” for Freddie. It is a peanut butter and banana sandwich (we asked them to hold the honey). It comes with more bananas and yellow raisins. I had the Peachy Green Smoothie and he had the Vegan Beast. In the past I have gotten the tofu scramble. It’s good, but I wasn’t feeling a heavy breakfast today.

Green man Juice Bar and Bistro

Around 11:00, my tummy was starting to talk to me. We stopped at a health food store that also appeared on the Happy Cow Ap called “Good News Natural”. We got supplies for snacks and Freddie breakfast foods. We also got some veggie milk for coffee. I had some chickpea salad and plantain chips as a snack to tide me over until lunch. Freddie ate one of his favorite Lemon Poppyseed cookies from The Alternative Baking Co.

Chickpea Salad with Plantain Chips

We tend to eat lunch on the later side, so at around 1:30, we started to make our way over to “Arena’s Deli”. It’s mostly a sandwich shop with a few salads and of course a beachy drink or six. I got a salad wrap with hummus (making sure to have them leave the cheese off). Freddie just had a few tater tots. I think he was still full from the cookie.

Dinner was a work affair. The hotel puts together a backyard picnic and has the usual grilled meats and mayo salads. We just had a veggie burger and some watermelon. It was a decent dinner.

The next morning I found this stand right off of the boardwalk that makes green smoothies, oatmeal and açaí bowls. Jackpot! It was pretty awesome.

Dreamers Smoothie Stop

Of course we have been occupying ourselves with plenty of beach time. We’ve also been visiting a lot of the local shops along the main drag. Our favorite so far has been “Browseabout Books”. We grabbed a few items for beach reading and played with every toy that they had.

Browse About Books

I would be remiss to not mention “Dogfish Head Brewery and/or Restaurant” when talking about Rehoboth. The last time we were here, the vegan eats there were a bit limited, but now….They have the Beyond Burger! What a delightful surprise! I ordered mine Cali Style (hold the cheese obvi). I also had a beer called Dragon YumYums which was designed in part by The Flaming Lips.

Cali Style Beyond Burger

Aaron suggested a place for dinner called “Stingray”. It was super close to “The Cultured Pearl” and boy was it tasty. It’s Asian inspired and the food was surprisingly tasty. I think the waiter didn’t know how to handle Freddie and seemed to be terrified of small children, but he kept trying to give us free stuff. No complaints here Mister. We had some miso soup, salad, dumplings, edamame hummus, crispy wonton chips, and General Tso’s Cauliflower. All of this was accompanied by a tall glass of wine.

6A10AFE0-C756-407C-960A-46A8333882CA.jpeg

I can’t leave out the amazing hotel where we stayed. Thanks Boardwalk Plaza! They hosted Aaron’s board meeting and kept us organized the whole time. Emro and Peanut (the two tropical birds that live in the lobby fascinated Freddie and kept us entertained constantly.

June Baby Smoothie

Freddie’s second birthday is coming up and I’m starting to reminisce about what I was doing during the month of June these past two years. Since I’m so food-centric, I always remember what I was eating or making in the kitchen. At this time of year, I get a sudden mood bump when the weather starts to get warm and Farmers’ Markets start to open. More fresh produce available everywhere.

I remember when I was pregnant and Aaron would go to the Farmers’ Market in front of his office and bring me home pints of berries. The raspberry bushes in our yard start to produce the first fruits of year. I would stuff my face with berries and not even attempt to save room for non-berry food.

Last year, Freddie was just starting to eat larger varieties of food and I remember giving him his first blueberries. Of course, he took after me and began to consume every blueberry in sight. We started referring to them as “bluebs”. Scenes of the girl in Willie Wonka swelling up into a giant blueberry and being rolled away by Oompah Lumpahs would flash through my mind.

This year, since we have had so much luck with smoothies, I have begun blending our favorite berry into our morning smoothie. I must say that this tasty concoction hits the spot and keeps me full well into the morning.

I hope that this June Baby Smoothie makes it into your repertoire and has you waxing romantic about June’s past during breakfast.

June Baby Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • one large handful of spinach
  • 1 cup ice (optional)

Ingredients for June Baby Smoothie

Place everything in the blender. I prefer to add them to blender in the order that I have listed the ingredients. Ice is optional. Use if you like a super cold smoothie. I only add it when it is super hot outside.

The June Baby and His Smoothie

 

Come On Vamanos … Everyone Let’s Go!

Barcelona- Here We Come!

Oh hello there! The pugs send warm March snuggles to everyone trying to stay warm in these last weeks of winter. I hope these Nor’easters haven’t got all of my friends on the East Coast too down.

Olive sexy face
Olive is giving you her sexy look. Try not to be seduced.

The Grumblers have begun the process of selecting a location for our International vacation of 2018. We have gotten a bit stir crazy here and need to go explore a few foreign destinations and get lost in a non-English speaking city. Last year we were a bit limited because Freddie was just turning one and the thought of packing him up and schlepping him through a foreign airport made my back hurt.

This year is a whole different story! He can walk substantial distances by himself, and can communicate with us a whole lot better. I know I might be pushing it, but fingers crossed that he is potty trained by the time we leave.

We threw around a whole bunch of destinations that sounded like a good time. The tops of our list included: Portugal, Tel Aviv, Corsica, and Costa Rica. Decisions, decisions … Of course I was trying to pick a vegan friendly destination that Aaron would also enjoy, and since we have been hibernating from the cold these last few months, warmth was a definite requirement.

And then over a lovely dinner out, Aaron threw out the idea- Barcelona. I don’t know why, but I just wasn’t expecting that from him. Hmmm…. Barcelona. I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain in college, but my Spanish skills are quite rusty and I never thought that he had ay interest.

How vegan friendly is Barcelona? If it is anything like Valencia was 10 Year’s ago, we are gonna starve. I did some research. I found a very helpful book entitled Barcelona Vegan Travel Guide Who knew that there would be a whole book dedicated to my cause?

Barcelona Vegan Guide
I hope this saves me from Spanish meat and dairy!

Well, Barcelona it is. We leave in September, and on this vacation, we will be bringing my sister. Freddie’s Aunt Bananas (aka Hannah). I tried to convince her to come as Freddie’s nanny, but she shut that down real quick. Aunt Bananas will be a regular old tourist like us (I’m secretly hoping that she will entertain Freddie on the flight at least).

This brings me to my new project. Brush up on my Spanish! Oh Duolingo, how have I not tried you until now. I even enlisted the help of a professional. I found my new Spanish tutor, whom I refer to as Ana Excelente on Thumbtack. She’s beating my language challenged ass into shape. I get tested and everything. I always get an A+.

Freddie watching Dora
Freddie is brushing up on his Spanish too. Dora to the rescue. Now if he only could figure out English sentences.

I am very excited to try out the CatBar, Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos, and the several macrobiotic restaurants that appear in my vegan guide book. Have any Barcelona traveling tips? Or fun spots to visit that are off the beaten path? I am very aware all things Gaudi BTW. Let me know!

Vegan Apple Pie

During our Thanksgiving dinner, Freddie ate nothing but the apple pie. I don’t know if it was too many different tastes and textures, but the little man would have nothing to do with any of the other dishes on the menu. I found this extremely ironic since he doesn’t really like plain apples. The pugs really enjoyed the bits of dinner that he threw to them though.

Vegan Apple Pie Ingredients

For my apple pie, I used golden delicious apples, but everyone has their own theories about which apples bake the best. The Grumblers aren’t really fans of Granny Smiths or Red Delicious’s.

Vegan Apple Pie pre topping

I also used a pre-made pie crust because I ain’t got time for that shit, but if homemade pie crust strikes your fancy, have at it. Make sure the check the ingredients. A lot of pre-made pie crusts just happen to be vegan. Go figure.

Vegan Apple Pie before it hits the oven

It tends to get a little bit messy, so I would recommend baking the pie with a cookie sheet underneath.

Vegan Apple Pie with Almond Milk ice cream


Vegan Apple Pie 

Serves 8

Ingredients for Pie:

  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • 8 cups thinly sliced apples (6-8 apples)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • dash of salt

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the apples. Once mixed, pour into the pre-made pie crust.

3. Mix the Topping Ingredients together in a bowl until crumbly.

4. Sprinkle the topping onto the pie. It will look really full, but don’t worry, it will cook down.

5. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Place a cookie sheet under the pie just in case the pie drips over the edges. Cover with foil to prevent further browning and bake  another 20 minutes.

6. Let cool and enjoy. Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream and/or vegan whipped cream.