Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tales from the Road: Melbourne, Florida

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As of yesterday, we're officially back on the road.  Chip's current project requires him to be about 1.5 hours from home, too far to commute on a daily basis.  So, we packed up the RV and headed south.  We're staying in a familiar location, the same park we visited last summer.  Since our last trip, they've upgraded the facilities and added internet, very pleased about that! The sites are a bit closer than I like and there could be a few more trees, but overall this is a very nice spot.

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Home Base..for now

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Settling In


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Early Morning Walk with Loki

Last night's dinner was super-simple, just tacos made with faux meat and lots of veggies.

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Breakfast today, tofu scramble with Ezekiel bread and tomatoes.

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Chip will be coming home for lunch, think soup & sandwiches are on the menu. Tonight we head back to Ormond since he has an early meeting there tomorrow, then down south for the weekend! Hope everyone's having a wonderful hump day so far.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

YouTube Tuesday: Nigella's Breakfast Bruschetta

Big thank you to Accidentally Vegan for posting this video of my favorite non-vegan chef, Nigella Lawson.  Her Breakfast Bruschetta looks amazing! The only change I would make is to eliminate most, if not all, of that olive oil.  Otherwise, yum!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Favorites

Good morning and Happy Friday! Today I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite things.  (Do you hear Julie Andrews singing in the background? *smile*)

As you know, I try to avoid GMOs and purchase as many organic, minimally processed products as possible. However, this is the Real World and we don't always have the opportunity (or means) to exclusively shop at a quality health food store.  With as much as we travel, there are times when I have to rely on the local supermarket or even Wal-Mart for my grocery needs.  I still manage to eat healthfully and compassionately.

I love veggie wraps; I can, and do, eat a different variety for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  However, many of the commercially-prepared tortillas are filled with white flour, sugar, fat, etc. My favorite brand is Ezekiel but they are hard to find, so in a pinch I'll buy these from La Tortilla Factory.

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Though the tortillas are hard to come by, other Food for Life (Ezekiel) products are readily available in most grocer's freezers.  I love the Sesame bread, either for toast or sandwiches.



I don't know about you, but a good cup of coffee is necessary to start my day! I've tried to drink it black, but no can do; I need some flavor or a touch of sweetness.  That's where So Delicious comes in.  Their non-dairy creamers are so yummy, the perfect addition to my morning joe. The Hazelnut flavor is my personal favorite.  Now, I used to find these at Winn-Dixie but for some reason they no longer carry them, big disappointment! I now make sure to stock up when I visit Whole Foods, but sure wish our local supermarkets would carry more of this brand.

Hazelnut
Though I prefer to eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods with no added oil,  there are times when I want a quick meal, or one that will appease my Omnivore hunny's desire for meat.  On those occasions, I turn to Gardein.  Though a little more costly than other faux meat products, they are non-GMO and in my opinion they taste much better than other brands.  The crispy chick'n line is my favorite, can create so many yummy dishes with these!



Last but not least, I leave you with dessert...


Diana's Bananas are a perfectly-proportioned sweet treat, especially good on a hot summer evening! Just be sure to buy the dark chocolate flavor as it's the only one that's vegan!

Hope this little list has inspired you to try something new, would love to hear your thoughts & reviews!

Have a great day, TGIF!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

On My Hearth: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Yesterday was another long day stuck at the house but I have nothing to complain about; poor Chip went to work at 7 am and didn't return home until nearly 9 pm! At that point of course it was too late to pick the car up from the shop, hopefully today will be better.

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When lunchtime rolled around, I scavenged the refrigerator and pantry for something fresh & different to prepare for myself. I came up with a little container of quinoa & a few vegetables. Hmm...taking a glance at my overgrown herb garden, I came up with an idea: Tabbouleh. After searching the 'net, I combined several different recipes to create my own healthy, low-fat version. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber (peeled, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 medium scallions, chopped

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa well. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Add pinch of salt and quinoa, reduce heat to low and cook until water is absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  2. Cover and let quinoa sit for about 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. When quinoa has reached room temperature, add remainder of ingredients, combine in a large salad bowl.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve and enjoy! 
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, plated photo 20130717_131347_zps9ed9e63b.jpg

Makes approximately 6 1/2 cup servings


Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 133.2
  • Fat: 9.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.8g
  • Protein: 2.3g

Have a wonderful day!

Michele~ 

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This 'n That

Believe it or not, I am still without transportation! We picked the car up from the mechanic, but it was still acting kinda funny so we decided to take it back in.  Well, about 200 feet in front of the shop it died..in the middle of the road. Fortunately, I was following Chip and it's not a busy street, but still...we called AAA for assistance. The adorable tow truck driver said it was the easiest job she's ever had!

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So, I've been pretty much housebound, making do with items on hand as much as possible, zipping out for quick grocery runs when Chip is home. I'm getting a little bit nutty (well, more than usual) being home all day, have tried to amuse myself with books & movies & the internet. I noticed that my cookbook shelf was overflowing so I reluctantly decided to downsize, listed a few of my favorites on Ebay.

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Fortunately I'm not entirely alone, I have my critters for company and napping!

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I guess that's about all I have to say for now. Hopefully the car will be repaired soon and I'll be back to my normal routine.  I must say, this way of eating has been budget-friendly and creative! Last night's dinner: vegan corn dogs and chili.  Certainly not gourmet but it hit the spot!

Have a wonderful day..


Friday, July 12, 2013

Keep it Simple, Sweetie

One of our cars has been out of service this whole week, so while Chip works I've been pretty much house-bound.  Being a homebody, I don't typically mind this, but after a few days of being alone and "stuck," a person can get a bit stir crazy! I've been keeping myself busy with various tasks - installing new shelf paper in the kitchen, ironing Chip's huge collection of cotton Hawaiian shirts (groan), reading, watching movies, etc. By the time he gets home from work (around 7 pm), the last thing I want to do is grab the car keys to run errands. I'd much rather enjoy a glass of wine with him, chat, cuddle, etc.  So, I've been making due with groceries we had on hand.  Since I keep a fairly well-stocked pantry and freezer, this hasn't been too much of a challenge. Granted, I haven't been making anything fancy, just simple dishes that don't require a trip to the market.

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Southwestern Breakfast Wrap
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Salad with Chopped Chik'n

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Pasta with Marinara & Basil 

Last night, however, I realized that I was out of two very essential items, so a quick grocery run was in order! Ha!

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This morning I put on my sneakers and headed out for a walk, so grateful that this lovely park is right down the street from our house.


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On the way back in, I spotted my bicycle in the corner of the garage, neglected and ignored for at least a year or two. *blush* I dusted her off and took her for a little spin around the neighborhood, just enough to to get my heart pumping and reassure myself that I hadn't forgotten how to ride a bike!


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"Rosie"
Breakfast this morning was one of my own creations, a "sausage" and pepper breakfast sandwich on an Ezekiel muffin.  Yum!


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"Sausage" & Peppers Breakfast Sandwich
I'm not sure what the rest of the day holds, am hoping my hunny gets home before the library closes. I have some treadmill-worthy dvds on hold there.  I'm also thinking a happy hour might be in order; I think we both deserve it. 


TGIF! 

Michele~



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tales from the Road: Gainesville, FL

This past weekend Chip and I (finally) loaded up the RV and headed over to Gainesville. The reason for the trip, in addition to "just" visiting with my girls, was to deliver a new family member to Lindsey.

Meet the-as-yet-unnamed Kitten, rescued by my friend Hilda who found her with two siblings in a cardboard box outside her office! Since Hilda already has a full house of kitties, she couldn't keep them but worked tirelessly until finding a foster mama.

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When Hilda learned that my Lindsey was looking for another furbaby to keep Milo company, she offered to drive this little one from Ft Lauderdale to Ormond, where we then continued her transport to Gainesville.


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Milo showed little interest at first but Lindsey tells me that the two of them are quickly becoming good friends.

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Kitteh meets the goddess Kwan Yin..

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With that important task behind us, we spent a few hours hanging out with the kids, eating veggie pizza for dinner...

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Then a big brunch the next morning before heading home.  The pics aren't pretty but I promise, the food was fantastic! The Top is a popular restaurant/bar, famous for it's Sunday Brunch.  It's good thing we got there right when they opened because by the time we left there was a line out the door!

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Tofu Scramble w/Vegan Biscuit

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Blueberry French Toast w/Seitan Bacon
So, here we are back at home in Ormond. Unfortunately one of our cars broke down yesterday so I'm housebound today; no big deal, I have plenty to keep me busy and plenty of food on hand for meal preparations.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Time to Celebrate!



Happy belated Independence Day! How was everyone's holiday? Mine was a mix of great and rotten..without going into much detail, I had some internet "privacy issues" and had to shut down my personal Facebook page as well as the page for Vegan Gypsy. While I was at it, I also put the blog on private status while I sorted some things out.  All of this left me feeling betrayed, violated and in shock, can't believe the lengths some people will go in order to hurt others.  *shrug* All I can do is remain true to my own self, live my life the way I see fit, and know that karma will eventually find it's way to those who deserve it.  'nuff said about that..

The great part? Every day I wake up with the man I love, surrounded by my critters, in a lovely home, with my wonderful family not far away.  Who could ask for more? How about a ten-pound weight loss?? Yep, yesterday I (officially) weighed in and discovered that I'm another 3 pounds down for a total of ten! Woo-hoo!

We spent the day relaxing around the house, grabbed a sub sandwich and then headed over to the Independence Day Celebration.  What a lovely family-friendly event, seriously felt like I'd stepped back in time! We got there early before the crowd, by 8 pm it was standing room only. The fireworks display over the river was just gorgeous, what a fun day.

Chip has the day off so we're catching up on some things around the house, planning for tomorrow's trek to Gainesville. I can't wait to see my girls!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

YouTube Tuesday: I'm a Judgemental Vegan Bitch

Well, not me exactly..while I am not quite as outspoken and in-your-face as Freelee, she certainly makes some good points. We share this planet, so what is done to it really is "our" business!