More Vegan Adventures

I’ve maintained my Veganism since September 8, 2014.  That isn’t very long, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, but then, for someone who has been an omnivore all her life prior, it feels like quite awhile!

I have found that when I follow a vegan recipe, and everyone in the household likes it, I keep it in my Recipe Archives to be used at any time.  A current family favorite is a carrot-orange soup, from:

http://www.amazon.com/Hannas-Quick-Easy-Vegan-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B00AEUT3GI

Another favorite is:

http://ohsheglows.com/2010/11/16/holiday-soup-for-the-soul/

I tend to change things up a little bit based on my whim and what is available in my kitchen.  I made the carrot-orange soup, for example, without the parsley or orange zest.  Instead, I garnished it with toasted pepitas.  As for the holiday soup, I pureed about 3/4 of it in my blender, then added it back to the soup pot.  This gave it a somewhat creamy, not-too-chunky texture.  And, lo and behold, here is what happened one evening whilst I was making one of the above soups:

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You see, I didn’t realize in enough time that the lid on the blender was not secure.  I  slammed my hand down on it quickly and held it there until the blending cycle finished.  Unfortunately, the damage was done.  It went on the the floor:

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Behind things on the counter top:

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It went on the walls, too, as well as on me and the dog.  I have no photos of that, though.  All I can tell you is that I walked into the room where Joel was resting and he asked me if I threw up on myself.  Ew!

It was a 2-day clean-up.  But the soup was GOOD!

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Winter is the time of year for lots of soup!  It is the ultimate comfort food, at least for me it is!  With the recipes above, you can pack a lot of nutrition into a relatively easy-to-cook dish.  Just be sure to keep your hand on that blender lid to prevent the craziness.

Wendy

Delicious and Nutritious

As always, I look for new, fun ways to improve our health habits.  I recently discovered:

http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Live-Amazing-Nutrient-Rich-Sustained-ebook/dp/B0047Y175M/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410195618&sr=1-3&keywords=dr.+joel+fuhrman

This is not a brand-new book, but it is, nevertheless, very helpful and informative.  With the basic principles in mind, I created a yummy lunch  It contained a little olive oil, baby kale, some red kidney beans, chopped onion(dried), zucchini(I have to use that up!), walnuts, shitake mushrooms, and sunflower nuts:

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Here it is after cooking briefly:

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I have to say, it was delicious.  I plan on using food combinations like this as often as possible.  They are nutrient-dense foods, which are low in calories, so they pack a powerful punch when it comes to healthy eating.

In the meantime, I am drying seeds to save for next year’s garden planting:

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If it is hard to see, due to my “expert” photography skills, I have French Breakfast Radish, Purple String Beans, and Painted Lady and/or Scarlett Runner Beans.  The Scarlett Runner Beans have all red flowers, but the Painted Ladies have red and white flowers.  I think they make beautiful plants as well as yummy food!

It never ceases to amaze me how such a big, beautiful plant can come from a tiny seed!  Every year I marvel in wonder…..

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(Flowers from the Painted Lady String Bean plants)

Enjoy making healthy food to nourish you, give you strength, and help you feel happy!

Wendy

What’s been going on…

Since y’all know of our losses this year, we are just trying to take life day by day.  I love the sunshine, but I seem to over-heat when I am out in it too long, so as a result, the garden is starting to look a bit shaggy.

I have so many pending projects indoors, too.  Besides rooms to paint, all kinds of things to fix, caulk, maintain, etc., I am teaching myself to crochet.  I once had a basic knowledge of crochet that grew quite rusty over time.  My Mom left behind numerous crochet hooks, skeins/balls of yarn, as well as knitting needles.  She knew how to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider.  She was very creative and loved pretty colors.  Her flower garden was gorgeous.  She used to cut flowers and bring them in to display in vases.  I guess I inherited her love of flowers and gardens!

She taught me to sew, among many other things.  She tried with the crocheting and knitting, but I was less interested.  Now, however, I wish I could have her coach me and answer my questions!  At the moment, I’ve created a simple project.  I just replaced old, worn out window-shades with simple, white, sailcloth curtains at Country Mouse House.  I need tie-backs, so I am crocheting them!

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I have to make 14 of them because there are, obviously, 7 windows and 2 panels per window.  If you know how to crochet(and you want to do this in your home), I simply start with a chain of about 20, then go back and single crochet through 9 or so(sorry this isn’t exact science, but I am still quite the beginner!), connecting the ends to form the loop.  Then I just single crochet for around 20-21 rows.  After that, I make another chain stitch for 11-12 and connect with a single crochet at the other end.  If you don’t crochet and you would like to do this, might I suggest:

http://www.amazon.com/Crocheting-Dummies-Susan-Brittain-ebook/dp/B003B6QZ6I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405623449&sr=8-1&keywords=crochet+for+dummies

I have found this book to be a big help!

Meanwhile, back in the Town Mouse Garden:

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Truthfully, these were taken a couple of weeks ago.  I just didn’t post them right away.  (That’s why the garden doesn’t look so shaggy yet in these photos.)

I’ll have to give the Country Mouse/Vegetable Garden update soon.  Great food is growin’!

And here is our best buddy, Finn, since he got a heat-relieving hair cut!

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And for an action shot(had to get the scratch!)

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I think he feels so much better now when he goes outside…..and since he is a doggie, he HAS to go outside rather often!

Stay cool and enjoy your day!

Wendy

Bloomin’

The flowers have begun at Town Mouse House!  Here are some photos:

Yellow Roses

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Pink Peonies

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Another Rose

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A Clematis grows at its feet(don’t look at the weeds ;(…….)

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The goal here is to get the clematis to climb up and all over the rose.  It is a stunning sight when that happens!  Entire books have been written about it, in fact!

Check out:

 

Good Reads

Summer is the time to read a little bit more, hopefully.  Now that it is the Fall, I appreciate being able to read whenever possible.  My favorite books are of the “How-To….” variety, however.  Here is one that is a little of both.  It is non-fiction, but it is not at all dry or boring.  A family makes a commitment to live off  food that is locally grown, either by themselves or others, for a period of one year.  One of my favorite chapters talks about raising turkeys, as there was little information available to the author, Barbara Kingsolver, at the time the book was written.  She handles every topic with sensitivity and humor.   It is available from Amazon:

This next book isn’t exactly something that one would sit down and read cover-to-cover, necessarily(well, I would).  I have to include it, though, because it has helped me be a better gardener in so many ways.  There are numerous recipes for Jerry Baker’s so-called “Terrific Garden Tonics,” which Joel calls my “Potions.”  The ingredients are mostly things that people have on hand in their homes, like dish detergent.  It is in a very simple-to-use format.  Also available from Amazon:

 

For when you are having trouble sleeping:

 

There are so many others, maybe I will do a post about them another day.  These are 3 good ones to get started on though.  Reading is a great “Off-Season” activity, too, as we store up knowledge to use during the growing season!

Hope you find the time to do some reading!

Wendy