Friday, November 26, 2010

Perfect Better For You Pancakes

I was given a recipe or vegan pancakes a while back it was good, but the end result was dense and not fluffy, so I played around and these turned out great! My kids and I ate them without out any topping of any kind, because they were so yummy we didn't need butter or syrup to add flavor! Surprisingly the applesauce and cinnamon dont give of a strong flavor so you can still add other fruits...or chocolate to create your favorite pancakes. Or add diced apples and extra cinnamon :)

2 cups whole wheat flour (I used whole grain white today)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar(not packed)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
Combine in a large mixing bowl.

1 1/2 cups original soy milk (or Almond milk)
2 Tbl ground flax seed

Mix together in a small bowl and let sit about 2 minutes (no much longer though.

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbl canola oil

Add everything to the dry ingredients and stir well. Cook up in your favorite pancake way! My favorite is with margarine (Smart Balance Light) instead of non-stick spray. Use about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake for best results, and lip once bubbles appear on top o pancake.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On A Serious Note

Elijah is a goober. He is so handsome (like his daddy), and melts me with a "please beautiful mommy!" However, he can have really bad days...or weeks. He can be completely mean and disobedient one minute and incredible sweet and cuddly the next. If he were over the age of four we would call this bi-polar, but instead it is terrible twos. This has been one of those weeks, where keeping up with him brings me almost to tears, and to horror as I see him sky dive off of furniture. As I say to myself for the 65th time today "I need a break" I realize it is November, and it is lucky for him that it is too, because in November I take it easy on him.
It was two years ago that he got sick. It started out like a cold, then got worse, then worse and worse and worse. The first night his fever spiked it we gave him fever reducer and headed to the ER and waited hours to not be seen, he started playing with us and acting normal so we went home. During the day he would do better, but the next night the fever spiked even higher. We headed back to the ER and they ran tests, told us it was just a cold, to keep suctioning his nose, giving him fever reducer and take him to a pediatrician in the morning. As soon as the Dr's office opened I was on the phone, but she was booked solid so they recommended another Dr. We went to the other doctor, and at this point Elijah was even more lethargic. The doctor came in the room and stood away from Elijah, never touching him or checking him out in any way. She asked what the hospital told us to do, we explained and her reply was, "so listen to them, why are you here? What do you expect me to do?" We left there and decided it was time to go back to the hospital, this time the doctors too us serious as soon as they saw Elijah. He was put on IV fluids, oxygen, breathing treatments, and a battery of tests were preformed immediately. By this time he rarely even cried because he was so sick. I remember praying over him for hours on end, for healing, pain relief, anything! And "why?". I remember being more terrified than ever in my life. And worse I remember having no peace. After a couple hours of constant tests and no answers, the doctor came in the room and quietly told us that Elijah was too ill for them to treat him at that hospital and he was going to be transported to a children's hospital. I could feel the earth spin around me as gravity held me down motionless. I saw Bobby's pillar of calm crumble. We still didn't have an answer as to what was wrong, but we both knew it could not be small i he couldn't be treated at a normal hospital.
The Kangaroo Crew arrived to transport him. The driver was very kind and tried to keep the conversation light, though all I wanted was to be in the back holding my baby. We got to the hospital and ran through the line of events every five minutes, with every nurse, doctor, technician and student. I was frustrated when we had to wait even 5 minutes between him being checked on, in my mind he needed a doctor standing by his side at all times! The first night I was up the whole night praying and paying harder every time his pulse-ox went off. The second night was more of the same with one difference, I couldn't stay awake any longer, even though I tried. What I woke up to was beautiful and brought me to tears. Elijah was playing! We stayed a third night, then as he was being discharged they finally gave me the answer that I no longer cared about having. I knew my baby was okay and that was enough. Elijah had RSV, we learned later that he has gotten it at the child care center where I worked for a Cafe.
So that is the scariest time in my life, more scary than when Addalene was sick at only 2 weeks old, because then I at least had peace.
And that is why, though Elijah can drive me up the wall and over the roof, I will always come back down and hug him and tell him I love him.
And, the reason that when I think about going back to work for my sanity or for financial reasons, I remember November 2 years ago, and I know that I am where I need to be for now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"So You Aren't Having Thanksgiving?"

Let me first say I am talking to myself here too.
Since we have gone vegan I have now been asked numerous times "so no Thanksgiving?" First off let me address this idea of Thanksgiving. It is a time to celebrate what we are thankful for right? And tell God, "Thanks"? Shouldn't we do that every day? I try my best (and so not do a great job at it) to be thankful each day for the blessings I have been given. How often do you leave the grocery store saying "thank you Lord for blessing our family with food today"?I definitely remember to at the beginning of the month, when we re stock our kitchen from the end of the month low.
If you take thankfulness out of the picture (since it should be a daily thing) that leaves a time to gather with family and eat. Well, holiday travel is quite costly, not to mention, the days prior to holidays and following are mandatory for Bobby to work. That knocks extended family off the board as most of them live pretty far away (think 12-17 hours).
So food-yes we still eat pretty great food too! Here is what we are planning for Thanksgiving, I am sure I will narrow down the list later as it is alot of food. All of the thing I a cooking are vegan too.
Spinach Dip in a homemade bread bowl
Main Course:
Stuffed Buttercup Squash (it looks like a green pumpkin)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Maple Glazed Acorn Squash
Cranberry Sauce (Homemade)
Pumpkin Cheesecake
and I am working up a recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie

See!? We still get to join in the gluttony of the day, while putting emphasis on being Thankful!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Instant Results & Black Bean-lette Tacos

I was so excited to see instant results over the last two days! First thing we noticed was after breakfast, we normally eat the recipe below with eggs instead of beans, and cheese on top-those are thee only difference in recipe-and feel weighed down after ward and my tummy feels yucky. Yucky in a way that has always been "normal" to me. We had more energy, I wasn't almost in tears wanting a nap, or falling asleep on the couch while feeding Addalene. My favorite change? Flatter belly!!! Instantly! I am used to my belly swelling up through the day and by the end of the day I look like I am expecting, that did not happen! When we woke up this morning-easier than we have in a long time-my belly already appeared smaller! Good bye belly, I wont miss you!

Black Bean-lette Tacos
Makes: alot, or about 9 tacos...maybe more

2 medium red potatoes chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
cooking oil (about 2 Tbl)
1 small yellow onion-chopped
1/3 cup corn -I use frozen
1 medium tomato chopped
1 can black beans -drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
cilantro (optional)
cumin and salt to taste
corn tortillas (lard free)

In a saute pan put just enough oil to fry potatoes.* Begin browning potatoes and once they begin to brown toss in chopped onion. Stir frequently. After about 3 minutes add corn, once it thaws add chopped tomatoes. Once potatoes are thoroughly cooked add beans and cumin (about 1 tsp) and continue cooking and stirring until the beans are heated through. Heat up tortillas (for corn tortillas, wet them before putting them on a hot pan and then they wont fall apart as you eat them). Scoop in the filling and enjoy!

*If you prep ahead you can bake the potatoes with less oil.

Update* I forgot to mention that everyones sinuses have "suddenly" cleared up. Elijah, who almost constantly has a runny nose, has not had one in the last 24 hours! Bobby and I have noticed a difference as well, Chloe says she hasn't noticed a diference, but I cannot vouch for what she is eating at school.(she will be taking meals starting tomorrow-but she does have free will)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Got A New Food-itude

After years of discussion on how food is supposed to be eaten, or more what is supposed to be eaten by humans, and then watching by accident a few documentaries about the subject, we have decided to eat more of a vegan diet. I would come out and say "we are vegan" however, that leads to a mental picture of someone who will force there animal rights belief on everyone who passes, and has a strong opinion of the use of leather ect. ect. We are in it from more of a health stand point. If you are interested the movies are "The Beautiful Truth" and "Change Your Food Change Your Life." After watching "Change" we decided to finish out the food we already had, then make the switch. But the next morning I could not bring myself to eat an egg. Then I started "Truth" and that was my breaking point. I knew tidbits of a lot of information on the subject of animal products and health, and these movies brought it all together for me.
So I have been asked quite a few times already "what will you eat?" So here is todays menu, keep in mind today was a crazy run around everywhere sort of day, and we will be having a load more veggies than we did today. At least it gives you an idea of what can be eaten with no time to cook.
Breakfast - Black bean-lette (bean omlette) tacos, which many people have asked or the recipe already so it will be posted soon.
Lunch-I kinda skipped it, I was still full but we munched on Sweet Potato Chips
Snacks-carrots, carrot juice and a plum (I meant to grab a handful of nuts on the way out and forgot)
Dinner-a large salad (lettuce tomato Catalina dressing and 1 TBL hemp seeds) and spaghetti (whole grain noodles 1/2 jar of sauce and a can of green beans)
Dessert-we are about to have herbal tea and sweet potatoes (maybe in the form of a rice pudding)

A few foods that surprised me while compiling a list of "normal" foods that are also vegan from PETA's website: Jello Instant Pudding in Pistachio, Vanilla and Lemon (only those flavors), Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, and Graham Crackers including Teddy Grahams!
Also, I was surprised to learn (from a few other sources)that fruits, vegetables, and grains contain all of the nutrients a person needs except for B12 which can be obtained either from eating fish twice a week, nutritional yeast or a supplement. This was surprising to me because I had heard so many arguments about how this diet would lead someone to be deficient in many nutrients.
So there you go, that is where I am at right now, and that is why I will be posting recipes that may seem a little strange. My fridge is stocked full of veggies, my cupboard with grains and lentils, and I am on a new adventure of creating and finding new recipes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wake up!

I had the pleasure of taking Chloe out for breakfast and hot chocolate before school yesterday. Whenever her school has a book fair, they do a free breakfast for parents and kids one day of the week, to encourage browsing (or buying really). However, the breakfast is a nasty 400+ calorie pre-packaged muffin that has been microwaved, and an oj. So whenever these events happen she is treated to donuts and kolaches, and if I take her a Starbucks as well. She was so happy and we had fun chatting and making a long list of book we want. I want Lady Bug Girl, Olivia, and Fancy Nancy. She wants chapter books :) So I wet home and the kids were still asleep. Bobby had to leave to do some hair, so I changed back to my pj's. As I laid down and my head was 6 inches from the pillow, Elijah popped in "Hey mom, get up! Get up!"
"Okay, okay since you have such a sweet little voice I will get up!"
Fast forward 14 hours.
Addie is asleep in bed and we are locking up, cleaning up, and brushing teeth. Elijah runs to me in the kitchen. "Mom, 'urry up, 'um 'ear, hurry! Look, Addie's up!"
"What? Addie is up?"
Followed by Bobby's voice coming from the other room, "now tell mommy why Addie is awake!!!"
Me-"Elijah did you wake her up?"
Elijah proudly, "YES!"
Then she didn't go back to sleep or many many hours, and then it was only for a short period of time.
Thank you Elijah for waking everyone up so sweetly!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cause he is so darned cute!

Elijah is always giving me something to talk about! Today he was standing on his potty washing his hands when he peed in his diaper. Apparently it was a lot, because his diaper had been dry and it leaked. Right into the potty, so I praised him and treated him for going in the potty...what else could I do I couldn't explain the stipulations of pottying in the toilet when he was looking at me with those big hazel eyes!
Addalene started fussing yesterday morning. Elijah ran in from the other room shouting "I got it, I got it!" Dropped on to the floor beside her wrapped his arm around her and started saying "ts ok Addie tso K, gott choo!" and kissed her sweetly on her face.
At each Halloween event we did, he didn't want to dress up. He had just thrown his pirate hat and sword on the ground when Chloe and I decided to demonstrate for him how to trick or treat. He saw me hand Chloe candy and ran up and said "pleeeeeease!" I told him, "no I only give candy to trick or treaters candy, who are wearing their costume." He ran back and put his costume on incredibly fast, and was back at my feet say "trick er treat!" He left it on after that.
He was pretty scared or masked characters this year, I suppose it is a good thing since it means he has learned the difference between reality and cartoon world.
I hope everyone had a happy Halloween!