Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Back!

Wow! It's been a while, eh? My dad and I had a fantastic time in Colorado. It was very beautiful there, and we had wonderful weather. We did lots and lots of hiking, which I seem to have developed a passion for over the last year or so. I'm glad I live in West Virginia. Lots of hiking here, and mostly in places I haven't yet explored. I have a lot to look forward to. Chez Mama will now be a vegan cooking blog, as I've finally fully committed to living a vegan lifestyle. It's been a rather slow transformation for me, starting four years ago when I stopped eating land animals. Over the last year, I ate fish a handful of times. Over the last few months, I've barely eaten any eggs of dairy. A couple of weeks ago, I ate something with dairy in it, and it just didn't seem right to me. So here I am. Vegan. I feel really good about it.

So, when I got back from Colorado I was ready to start cooking. When I'm gone for a few days, eating at restaurants, I realize how much I miss cooking and eating my own food. Restaurant food seems to wreak havoc on my digestive system. Even if it's relatively healthy stuff. It kinda sucks.

So, I got back and cooked up a big batch of black beans. It's always nice to have lots of beans on hand and ready to go. And with some of those beans, I made one of the best things I've made in a while. Sort of a "Huevos" Rancheros. Or, you could call it "Tofu Rancheros". I made up some tofu scramble, loosely using the recipe from VWaV. I add whatever veggies I have on hand. This time it was onion, various peppers from the CSA, and a bag of spinach. I also warmed up some of my black beans in a pan with a can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, chile powder and diced onions. I had some corn tortillas which I heated on the griddle, then topped with the tofu, black beans, salsa and Better Than Sour Cream. It was so good that I think I'm going to be making it again this weekend. YUM!

I also made some black bean burgers this week. The same ones as usual from V-con. To go with those, I made some sweet potato fries. It's getting to be sweet potato time again, and I'm so ready for it. I can't get enough sweet potatoes.

Oh, and I made the Peanut-Butter Oatmeal Cookies from VWaV. I used whole wheat flour, and reduced the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup. They aren't really sweet, and they're soooo peanut-buttery. So good. I don't think I'm going to miss anything by going vegan! As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to enjoy baking more than ever. I mean, check out some of the cupcakes that Carrie (Adventures in Vegetarianism) whips up!

Sleek and I had the oppourtunity to check out a really fantastic concert last Sunday. We saw The Swell Season perform in Pittsburgh at the Byham Theatre. We've wanted to see them since last spring, so it was a real treat. We were introduced to them through the Irish, indie film Once. I highly reccommend checking out the film, and their music. They did lots of new stuff at the show, so I'm hoping for a new album from them sometime soon! It's not a show to be missed, so if they're coming to your area, check them out for sure!


carrie said...

Congrats DM!! I feel so much better after becoming vegan (although, I guess I can't say vegan.......while I've become much more aware, I still buy the occassional leather good, mostly shoes for the kids, but vegan eating 100%) The rest of the family has been slower to embrace a cheese free life, but they are slowly coming around!!

The Dalai Mama said...

Carrie, there is NO WAY I could attempt to force veganism on my kids and Sleek. It's one thing if kids start out vegan, but there are WAY too many healthy foods my kids love that aren't vegan. I'll tell them why I choose not to eat/wear animal products, but I don't expect them to want to follow along. I'm they type of person, though, who just doesn't feel comfortable trying to impose my personal beliefs on others. KWIM?

carrie said...

I know exactly what you mean, that's why my kiddos are still eating cheese (at least cheese is the only non-vegan thing they want to eat). I think a perfect vegan lifestyle is almost impossible anyway....I never ever eat animal products, and I don't buy new leather things (I've never worn fur or wool, so I don't have to worry about that), I do the best I can buying vegan cleaning and healthcare products, but for the life of me can't find one single vegan deoderant that I like, so I'm sticking with my good old non-vegan brand!!

By the way, I forgot to mention how gorgeous that photo at the beginning of your post is.

SleekPelt said...

I like the new profile better, personally. ;)

The Dalai Mama said...

Carrie: I'm not even sure that I own anything leather. I do have a felted-wool purse that I love dearly. I won't buy another one, though. I have been able to find cruelty-free bath and body stuff that I love. A perfect vegan lifestyle is indeed impossible. I know the local, certified organic veggies I get through my CSA are probably fertilized with something containing fish or feathers. That's very common in organic farming. We all just do the best we can and find out what works for us individually.

Sleek: You're such a dork! Posting such things on my blog!

CSR said...

I know what you're saying about kids. I'm vegetarian, not vegan (but I have started trying recipes from V-con -- really great!), and my husband and I have not fed our 2-year-old any meat. But my older daughter is from my first marriage and her dad and stepmom are big-time meat-eaters and really into cooking, so she eats meat outside our home.

I don't know how this is going to work out down the road with the little one, especially when she goes to school.

LOVED "Once!" Wish I could have caught that concert!