Tag Archives: vegan

Will It Cotton Candy??

 

I was recently at one of the local thrift shops and wandered through the housewares department.  A thrift shop is a little like an appliance graveyard for trendy appliances of years gone by.  I admit to being a bit of a kitchen gadget whore in the past and had done a major purge of all my wacky, single use appliances and gadgets.  Well, I fell off the wagon and came home with a cotton candy maker for $10.  Now what does one put in a cotton candy maker?  Sugar?  Yeeess, but what kind?  I had no idea, so I did some Googling and read that people have put hard candy in their appliances, and I wanted to try it.  I came home with Jolly Ranchers.  Will Jolly Ranchers cotton candy?

Yes, yes they will!  I am likely going to need dental work from all this sugar after!  Jolly Ranches make great cotton candy!  It sticks to your teeth like crazy when the sugary strands dissolve in your mouth though.  I think I am going to need some practice rolling the cotton candy onto a stick too (I used a wooden spoon lol).  I think Jolly Ranchers are vegan too.

Happy thoughts,

Amber

Tales From The Plot… The Garden Plot That Is…

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So I tried out this garden thing at one of Kitchener’s community garden plots and it turns out I am not the urban farmer I always thought I would be.  It turns out I am a tad neglectful.  I am glad I put straw down because I’ve only weeded the plot 3 times and I’ve only watered it about 7 times.  I have been pretty lucky as it rained a lot and I’ve even managed to get some delicious produce out of it with minimal effort.  The above photo is today’s tomato haul and as you can see I turned it into salsa, which I am eating right now and can I say YUM!.  I just picked them today and there was quite a lot.  It filled up the whole mixing bowl and weighed almost 3kg.

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Kale also grew really well under my seriously neglectful conditions and peas too.  I have an eggplant in there with lots of flowers, but no eggplant yet and it didn’t get very big.  My cauliflower is seriously gross and didn’t work at all and pepper plants I don’t think even reached a foot tall, but there are peppers growing them.

The Wins:

  • peas
  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • basil
  • stevia
  • onions

The Losses:

  • cauliflower
  • leafy greens
  • chives
  • ground cherries
  • peppers

I can’t remember anything else I’ve planted, but I’m sure I’m missing a bunch.  Whoever owned the plot the previous year had tomatoes in their garden and they have reseeded, grew and are producing tomatoes.  I think if I do the garden again next year it will be mostly peas and tomatoes (they seem to stand up well to my abuse).

Happy gardening,

Amber

New Toys, Picnics, and Ruins

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I did something I never thought I would do…  I bought a bicycle, and I freaking LOVE it!  I found this little darling on Kijiji for a completely reasonable $50.  I haven’t been on a bicycle since I was a teen and although it was a little hard at first I picked it up again super fast.

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For the maiden voyage I wanted to make it a picnic.  The bike actually holds quite a bit.  I had a full bottle of wine, 2 large bottles of water, a large glass wine glass, picnic blanket, a small full back pack, a light jacket, a couple cloth napkins, a corker, and snacks.  I was really scared before I started because with everything piled in there it was heavy and I was worried about tipping over.  It turned out that wasn’t a worry and I will load that bad boy up again anytime for another picnic.  I still don’t have a name for it yet.  I need one…  I name everything.

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We went on the trail that runs from Cambridge to Paris and the plan was to go all the way to Paris, but we only made it as far as Glen Morris and that was okay.  The path is really busy and that freaked me out a little at the start until I got comfortable and wasn’t afraid of smashing into anybody anymore.  For the first km I kept swerving towards the trees and having to put my feet down.  After the first few kms I was doing okay.  We went about 8km and it took about 1 1/2 hours.  We were searching for the German wool mill ruins, but ended up missing them completely on the way there.  We found a great spot on the river to stop and have the picnic.  Of course I had wine with me and the maiden voyage was toasted with one of my homemade bottles of wine (I ended up falling off the no alcohol and 22 Day Vegan Challenge band wagon.  I’ll update that in another post).  It was a gorgeous spot to stop and we spent about an hour there.  I was so mellow and relaxed out there.

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We met some people along the trail who told us where to look for the mill.  Apparently, this is a popular spot for wedding photo shots and I can believe that.  There was an engagement photo shoot going on when we finally found it.  We spotted it on the way back and I have no idea how we missed it.  The building was HUGE and very close to the trail.  They were really pretty to explore and then it was time to go back.  It only took about 30 minutes to get back.  I guess it doesn’t take long to relearn how to ride a bike.

I admit I always thought cycling was a little on the wimpy side and not much of a work out.  I mean you are sitting down the whole time!  Well I was wrong.  My legs were aching a little bit and although I didn’t hurt the next day, my legs didn’t have a lot of get go and felt a little sluggish.  I can see how people get super fit on these things.  My poor butt though.   It hurts a lot today.  I think I might have to get one of those gel seat covers.  A longer ride and I think I would be doomed!

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I can’t wait until I get to go again!  I am in love with this picnic basket and I want one just like it!  I want to picnic in style and comfort lol..

Peace out.

Amber

Day 4 Of The 22 Day Vegan Challege

Day 4: 149.4lbs Whaaaaaat?

So this diet seems to be working out for me, 4 and some pounds lost in three days!  I am guessing it’s also a result of giving up the hoards of beer I have been drinking as well.  It was pretty awesome to see under 150lbs on the scale again.  I unfortunately didn’t finish eating my dinner, which was a pretty large bowl of pasta until 11:40pm which is when I started to write this post and I am sure the scale will not be so kind tomorrow.

I did one of my twice weekly exercise classes today a few hours ago and my whole body is aching all over.  It must have been a good one!  So far the meal plan hasn’t called for any leftovers and with things to do after work like an exercise class and a dog to walk, it gets late fast.  I don’t use canned beans (they taste tinny and I like dried for storage and cost effectiveness) and that can make cooking take forever.  I’m also a horrible cook and have no idea how to properly time things.

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Today’s meal plan had it’s ups and downs.  The breakfast was a vegan bar and fruit salad.  I love love love sweet, dark cherries and mango.  I thawed them over night and they were soo good.  The bar was okay.  Lunch was just meh, but then again I don’t have a big love for raw kale.  Kale cooked in soups is my way of loving the kale.  Raw kale is just thick and not all that good.  It is not easy to eat kale fast and I only managed to get half the salad down during the lunch hour.  I ate the other half later at work.  The snack was also kind of blah to me too.  It was just raisins and almonds.   I had an overwhelming urge to eat when I got home between work and class and I ate something not on the list.  It was the second half of an avocado from day 2 I think.  I also had 1/4 of a pear at work that someone was sharing.  The dinner (although the photo doesn’t make it look all that appetizing) was pretty good.  It was eggplant and zucchini pasta sauce with beans.  The pasta noodles were rice noodles I picked up at the store.  I definitely prefer corn or wheat flour over these, but it was still really good and I just finished eating it now.  I was hungry after I got home from class so again I ended up eating my dessert first.  They were the raw macaroon bites and holy amazeballs they were freaking good!  They are packed with sooo much fat though and all I wanted to to was chow down and eat all 15 of them (I only ate the suggested two).

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As you can see by my CRON-o-meter stats I had a lot of calories today and I am not feeling good at all about it.  I am really regretting the avocado and kind of wish I skipped the snack for the day.  Maybe low calories isn’t what this is all about.  Maybe day 4 just happens to be a higher calorie day.  Maybe it’s all going to vary.  I will find out day by day.  Maybe I’m just tired and cranky pants. I am uneasy about the amount of fat in this diet, but so far it seems to have been working out okay.

Sleep well!

Amber

Day 3 of the 22 Day Vegan Challenge

Day 3:  152.2lbs

I weigh exactly the same as I did yesterday, which is really not all that surprising.  I didn’t drink as much liquids today as I did the previous two days and between meals I would get pretty hungry.  I was absolutely stuffed after lunch as it was a monster salad.  I felt a little nauseated when it came to snack time.  I think it was just too many veggies in too short a time period.  I didn’t feel any nausea the previous days.

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Today’s meal plan really wasn’t anything overly exciting, although I do really love banana soft serve which was dessert today.  Breakfast was a quinoa and berry porridge with some nut butter and flax powder.  Lunch, a huge monster salad that I thought I had pumpkin seeds for, but turns out I didn’t, so I used hemp which was in the directions.  The snack was some of that super awesome hummus with celery and carrots.  I ate the dessert before dinner because I was too hungry to wait for the beans to cook when I got home.  Dinner was steamed broccoli, steamed potato and black beans with an entire tablespoon of coconut oil.  I didn’t really want to use that much coconut oil, but I did what the meal plan said.  I used curry, garam masala, sea sald and turmeric to season the bowl.  That was not in the instructions, but I am pretty wild, so I went with it.  Dessert was my favourite and something I’ve made often before.  If you’ve never had banana soft serve you need to give it a go.  I always called it banana nice cream.  You just chuck a frozen banana or two in the food processor until it has the consistency of soft serve and it does taste surprisingly a lot like soft serve.  You need to use a super duper ripe banana for it.  I like to add cinnamon and this recipe called for vanilla which I also liked a lot.  I have no clue why I never thought of adding vanilla before… or maybe I did and just can’t remember.  I haven’t had it in awhile.  Anyway here are my CRON-O-meter stats for the day:

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Be well

Amber

Day 2 Of The 22 Day Vegan Challenge

Day 2:  152.2lbs

Now I’m not going to get crazy excited because I know there is no way I lost over 2lbs in a day.  I must have gotten rid of some retained fluid from drinking mostly beer and wine over the last few months.  And now that I think about it, I really can’t say the Starch Solution didn’t work for me as I doubt you are supposed to be drinking a bottle of beer or glass or two of wine each evening… My bad.

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Here is what I ate for the day minus a peach and one brazil nut that I didn’t take a photo of.  I also take a kelp supplement a couple times during the week as I eat Himalayan sea salt and don’t get the iodine.  My calories were also closer to 1600 yesterday as I realized after posting my blog post that I forgot the dessert which was dark chocolate!  I had a couple squares of the Heidi brand 75% and it was YUM.

Today I had a smoothie for breakfast which I loved.  It was a bit of almond butter, raw sun warrior protein powder, spinach, almond milk and a frozen banana.  Lunch was a wrap with a side salad (it said small, but I made it a big salad.  I liked the taste of the wrap, but as you can see that tortilla shell was horrible.  It was gluten free and super crumbly.  It fell apart and was hard to eat.  The snack of the day was a vegan snack bar I found at the grocery store and I liked it okay.  Dinner was really good too.  It was a zucchini noodle pasta dish with steamed sweet potatoe and some veggies.  I was thinking about getting the Vegetti which is a vegetable spiralizer, but I need to keep my kitchen gadgets down to a minimum and a plain old grater works just fine.  I will save myself the drawer space and skip it.  The recipe called for only half an avocado and I love avocado so much I was just going to eat the other half which is why it’s pictured above.  I was so stuffed there was no way I could eat the other half and I am saving it for day 4 when it goes into a smoothie recipe.  The “pasta” was flavoured with balsamic vinaigrette, fresh basil and hemp seed “Parmesan” which is made of hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt.  I really loved it and I would make that again.  Dessert was raw brownie bites which is chocolate, nuts and dates blended together.  I was supposed to use walnuts, but I forgot to buy them so I used almonds instead.  They were good, but I wish I got to try them with the walnuts instead.  I think they would have been amazing.  I drank a small glass of lemonade in the morning (fresh squeezed with stevia) and a couple glasses of tea throughout the day.

This challenge is pretty awesome.  I’m only on day 2 and I’ve already found a couple recipes for meals that I will definitely be making again.  The chia seed pudding and the zucchini pasta dish for sure.  I’ve tried other zucchini pasta dishes and I didn’t really like them very much.  This one was a for sure win.

Be well!

Amber.

P.s.  Here is the link for the challenge and my cronometer stats for the day:  http://www.22daysnutrition.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/22-Days-Vegan-Challenge-Recipe-Book1.pdf

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