Friday, November 9, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

Okay ya'll, I have a confession to make. . . . .

I love Paula Dean.

I absolutely love her, her sweet southern accent, how she cooks everything in about a pound of butter and/or lard, even how she won't touch a vegetable unless it's been drenched in some form of oil or meat bit.

Most of all though, I love trying to make her recipes healthier and vegan, without loosing that southern flavor.

It's no secret that as humans we crave fat. Especially for a vegan, that craving can be down right hard to ignore. Especially since 99% of the foods we eat are naturally low in fat.

That is why I love her recipes so much. They are perfect for those "craving fat, nothing else will do" kind of nights. You know, the ones where you could literally eat sugar out of the canister, or couldn't imagine slathering enough Earth's Balance on your already buttery mashed potatoes?

I already love me some good, VEGAN, comforting southern cooking. And I can't think of a better place to find resources than with her.

Now, if you'll excuse me ya'll, she's on and with a special Thanksgiving episode, including fried stuffing on a stick!!! Now tell me that doesn't sound good!

Monday, November 5, 2007

so tired

So very, very tired.

We were slammed at work today. We did about 2500 photos, which is about 1500 more than we did just yesterday.

I think this cooler weather is making our customers think about Christmas a lot sooner than they did last year. Which means a lot more business, a lot sooner for us. But, that is a good thing. Especially when it comes to asking for a raise!

Not to mention how much I am LOVING the cooler weather. But for now, I'm off to bed. I have to be back at work first thing in the morning and sleep is all I can think about right now.


Oh, and I promise to post a real post tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Black Bean, Corn, Spinach, and Sweet Potato Soup

This recipe makes a ton of soup. I like to make a lot because with soup, leftovers are always better than the original, in my opinion.


3-4 cans of black beans (I use Bushes beans, with the seasoning)
1 box of frozen chopped spinach (or about four cups of fresh spinach, chopped)
1 bag of frozen corn
4 (or more, I usually add more) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced.
2-3 cloves of Garlic (remember, I love garlic)
1 small Onion (you can add more but this is all I can get away with in this house of onion-haters)
3-4 tbsp. Olive Oil


1. Saute onion in olive oil until almost translucent, be sure not to burn.

2. Add garlic and let cook until golden.

3. Add black beans, spinach, and sweet potatoes

4. Fill empty cans of black beans with water, about half way to get the rest of the seasoning from the bottom of the cans and pour into pot.

5. Let cook for about 15 minutes, checking for consistency. You can add more water or vegetable broth if you like yours "soupier" at this point.

6. Continue cooking until sweet potatoes are tender.

7. Add salt, pepper, oregano and any other seasonings you wish to taste.

8. Add bag of corn and cook until soup is heated through

9. Serve. I like to serve mine over rice, with a little slab of butter between the rice and soup.

Hope you enjoy.

This really is a super easy recipe and takes not time to make. And it's soooo super yummy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

So, after a long break of not doing these, I've decided to get back into the swing of things, today.

So, here is my menu for the week. Everything listed is vegan, which means that everything is completely animal free. Meaning no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no fish, and no anything else that can come from an animal.


Recipes to follow on some stuff, maybe.

Monday: Black bean, corn, spinach and sweet potato soup over rice.

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: Spaghetti with blood sauce (marinara) and eyeballs (vegan meatballs) and green goblin bread (Rachel Ray's Green Garlic Bread Recipe.)

Thursday: Shepherd's Pie

Friday: Fajitas

Saturday: Veggie Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and the best Brussels sprouts, EVER.

And that's it for the week.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Neatloaf" Recipe

Finally, a recipe!!

This one is a family favorite. In fact, it's so loved that if anyone in this house glances at the weekly menu board, and this is not on it, I hear about it.

As a kid, in order for me to take part in this delicious, typically ground beef concoction, I'd always have to look elsewhere. As my mom, while one of the greatest cooks there ever was, was completely unable to make a viable, not to mention edible, loaf of her own. Something about egg and mushy meat, and childhood nightmares. Her phobia for this dear concoction aside, I grew to love this fond money-saving meal that most of my friends would gripe about.

Now that I've become vegan, I've longed for the hearty warm taste this meal always left me with. When I discovered vegan crumbles, I began concocting recipe after recipe and I feel as though I have FINALLY gotten what I am after.

So without further adieu:

**NOTE: Please keep in mind that when I cook, I cook to feed an army. Make adjustments accordingly. Oh, and that these amounts are just guesses, as I am terrible at actually measuring stuff when I'm in charge.**


3 Boxes of Boca Crumbles (or three bags of Greenwise Crumbles, my personal choice if you live near a Publix)

3/4 tub of firm tofu (not frozen)

1 Cup of fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup oil

1/4 Cup of soy milk

1/2 Cup of Ketchup

2 Tbsp. A1 Sauce (Smoky Mesquite flavor)

1-3 Tbsp. minced garlic

1-2 Tsp. onion powder

Oregano to taste.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

**In an ideal world all of these items will be thawed and at room temperature. However, if you forget, or don't have time, frozen ingredients work just as well. Just use a hand mixer instead of your hands to incorporate, or my favorite, a stand mixer (just be careful, spillage is expected.)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Empty all three boxes of crumbles into a bowl.

3. Add tofu and mix.

4. After tofu is encorporated, add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, until mixture begins to "clean" the sides of the bowl (you may need to add more soy milk or oil to achieve this) You will end up with one big clump, of not so pleasantly colored glop.

5. Transfer mixture to a loaf pan, mini loaf pans (my choice as it tends to hold the mixture together a lot better.) or baking dish and bake in oven for 45 minutes.

6. At 45 minutes, take out and baste with either A1 sauce, ketchup (my choice), or BBQ sauce.

7. Let bake for another 15 minutes for baste to caramelize.

8. Serve and enjoy!

Chef's notes:
~I make this recipe two different ways. The more traditional way, with ketchup smeared on top, with mashed potatoes, and some kind of green veggie. Also, the hearty way. Which is the loaf, on a bed of sauteed mushrooms, no baste on top, but instead slathered with gravy and served with mashed potatoes and asparagus or green beans.

~ If you decide to go the traditional loaf way with this recipe, I think it would be better to make the mixture the night before, cover it, let it freeze overnight then bake it on a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. I think it would hold together better this way. Although I have no proof, as I've never been able to test my theory in this house.

~This is great cold on bread with veganaise the next day.

~Perfect for kids lunches too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

yep, I'm overdue

So yeah, it's been a long, long time with nothing going on over here. And yeah, it's very safe to say that I've let this blog fall by the way-side, totally neglecting it's existence.

I promised recipes. I promised product reviews. And then, I just ended up posting my weekly menus for a few weeks, then. . . . nothing.

Well, I am back and vow to make this blog all that I wanted it to be in the beginning. With Fall upon us with the cooler temperatures, and the promise of a festive season ahead, I find myself drawn back into the kitchen to try new and rework old yummy recipes.

One of my favorite things to do is to go to the store and parooze the current recipe filled magazines. This is the best time of year for that sort of thing. Many magazines come out with "Holiday Recipe" versions full of readers favorites. Now, most of the recipes are NOT vegan but that's part of the fun I have. Coming up with vegan options. It's a lot easier than it seems.

Luckily for all of you, I get to do the hard work, and you get to enjoy the recipes as a result. All I ask is that you tell me what you think when/if you try a certain recipe listed on here. I will also do my best to write down my source for said recipe, when I can remember.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have my first magazine of the season waiting to be plowed through and folded up. I should be back soon with my findings.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I've again missed this thing for a couple weeks now. Things around the home front have been rather hectic. I've been busy with some spring-cleaning tasks as well as setting up a new home office. I'm afraid I have been neglecting this blog. However, the good news is that I have some awesome posts planned for the days ahead. Including a recipe, a product review, and some other handy things.

But for now, here is my menu for this week.

  1. "Creamy" Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Toficken
  2. Black Eyed Peas, Okra, Stewed Tomatoes (I've had this on the menu for the last couple of weeks but, sadly have failed to make it.)
  3. Chef Salad (vegan style, of course)
  4. Tofu Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes, and Asparagus
  5. Southwestern Tofu Burritos
  6. Picnic Night - - Cold Cut "meat" sandwiches, Crunchy Chick Peas, Sun Chips, Fruit Salad, and maybe even Cole Slaw.
  7. Something new, haven't decided yet but I think it's about time I tried a new recipe.
For more Menu Planning Monday check here.

I'm also going to experiment with some baked goods this week. I found a new boxed cake mix that is gluten and wheat free and completely vegan. It doesn't even call for eggs, so no worrying about finding the right kind of replacement. So I'm looking forward to trying that out as well as a few of my own creations. I'll keep you posted.

I think that's about it on this home front. Now that I finally have my menu done, I guess I should make a list and head off to the store, before the other boy is due home from school.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Samosa recipe and my changes.

I found an awesome site for making samosas. Including specific instructions on just how to fold the little suckers. And the best pastry (Samosa Khol) recipe ever. I'm thinking about using that recipe for other things as well. Like a yummy Pot Pie Pocket. I just won't add the Indian spice to the dough when I make it.

Now, I will admit, while looking at the three different pages of recipes and techniques, I began to feel quite overwhelmed. But it really was pretty easy. I think it ended up taking me a grand total of about an hour, which includes the setting time for the Khol. The stuffing part goes by super quick. And, I'm here to tell you that it will make way more than you'll probably need but I'm also here to say that it freezes wonderfully and makes your next attempt at samosas that much easier. I still have some stuffing sitting in my freezer.

Now for the changes I made:

For the stuffing recipe:
I cut out the Amchoor (mango powder) because, well, I've never heard of it and I couldn't find it in my local store.

I also cut out the cilantro because I can't stand the taste of the stuff.

I did add some cauliflower (about 1 1/2 cups) to the recipe.

I think I forgot to put in the cardamom. Although with the cinnamon in there, it wasn't really missed.

I also erred on the side of caution when it came to the cumin and cayenne because I'm really not a spicy kind of person.

Other than those things, I followed the recipe exactly. :~)

For the Samosa Khol Recipe:
The only thing I did differently here was to use Garam Massala instead of Ajwain in the dough because, again, I couldn't find Ajwain.

As for How to fold a Samosa:
I used the table top method to fold my samosas. I wasn't about to attempt the traditional method. I'm not that coordinated yet.

Oh, and for the oil, make sure you keep it at the temperature they say, maybe only vary it by adding ten degrees or so. It takes about 8-10 minutes for these thing to fry up but they turn out wonderfully. I was super worried about them being too greasy but they turned out light and wonderful instead.

Hope everyone enjoys.

And if you try this recipe I'd love to hear your review or the changes you made.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Menu Planning Monday

Menu Plan Monday

I've missed a couple weeks with being sick and all the normal crazy family stuff, but I'm back. . . . And truth be told, I've been lost without the menu planning.

Menu for the week of February 12, 2007:

Monday: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, and Fruit Salad

Tuesday: Tuscan Beans with Sage, Sweet Potatoes, and hommade dinner rolls

Wednesday: Still haven't decided yet, but something very Valentine-y and yummy.

Thursday: Fajitas

Friday: Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, grits, fruit, veggie sausage)

Saturday: Broccoli and Tofu Stir-Fry

Sunday: Veggie Neat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus

For more Menu Planning Monday go here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Recipe: Southwestern Corn Soup

8-9 Medium Sized Potatoes, peeled and diced.
1 Bag of Frozen Corn
2 Quarts of Vegetable Broth (I use Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth)
2-3 cups of water
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 Bell Peppers (Green), diced.
2-4 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped.
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and chopped.
3-4 Fresh Limes, cut into wedges.
1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute Onions in large stock pot with Olive Oil until translucent.

Add Garlic, Green Peppers, and Jalapeno Peppers, continue to saute for about 5 minutes.

Add half of the Vegetable Broth along with the Potatoes.

Let simmer for about 10 minutes then add remaining broth.

Let cook until Potatoes are soft. About 15 minutes.

Add Bag of Corn and 2-3 cups of Water (add enough water to get the consistency you like). Let simmer until Corn is heated through.

Using an immersion blender, (or food processor) blend until about 3/4 of soup has been pureed.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with FRESH lime wedges. Squeeze lime juice on soup right before eating.

The lime is very important in this dish, it adds a nice dimension that could not be accomplished otherwise.

This soup can be spiced up or toned down to fit your tastes. I have two little boys, neither of which handle spice very well. I find that with two jalapenos, I get just enough heat without the spice. This is a favorite in this house, it's also a great way to get the kids to eat a wide variety of veggies.


Menu Plan Monday - - January 22, 2007

Well, after last week (my first) I must admit that I really love this idea. It helped me out so much last week. I knew what I was going to make, had all the ingredients on hand, and didn't have to hassle with any last minute problems since I planned according to our busy schedules. I'm definitely going to keep up with this weekly habit.

Monday: Samosas (husband has been after me to make these for over a week now)

Tuesday: Putenesca Pasta, Salad, Homemade bread

Wednesday: Southwestern Corn Soup and Burritos

Thursday: Grilled Tofurky Sandwiches, fruit salad, and fresh cut fries

Friday: Pizza night with homemade pizza crust

Saturday: Barbecue Beans with Tofu

Sunday: Black eyed peas, Brown rice, and stewed tomatoes with okra.

For more Menu Plan Monday check here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Recipe: Tuscan Beans with Sage

This is a favorite of mine. It's fast, it's easy, and most of all, it's yummy (not to mention quite healthy.)

The only thing you have to worry about with this recipe is too much sage. Make sure you don't go overboard with it because it will ruin the dish if you do.


2-3 tablespoons FRESH sage, chopped
2 14-oz. cans navy beans, drained
14-oz. can diced tomatoes
6-10 garlic cloves minced (I like lots of garlic)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Combine the sage, garlic and oil in a saucepan and sauté on medium-low heat for several minutes, until the garlic is golden.

Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and navy beans and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or chilled.

Do not try dried sage with this recipe. It won't work. Only fresh sage will work.

Great served with hot buttery sweet potatoes!

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

If you try this recipe, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

I'll be putting this on the menu for us next week so hopefully I'll remember to take a picture of it to add to this post.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Menu Plan Monday: January 15, 2007

Monday: Spaghetti, Spinach Salad, and Homemade Garlic Bread.

Tuesday: Neat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, and either Sauteed Spinach or Green Beans.

Wednesday: Cracklin' Cauliflower (I'll post the recipe in the days to follow)

Thursday: Chick'n Salad Sandwiches and Either Spicy Tomato Soup or Potato Soup

Friday: Spinach Tofu Burritos and Southwestern Corn Soup

Saturday: Make your own Pizza day, with Homemade Pizza Dough.

Sunday: Black Beans and Rice on a bed of Sweet Potato

Friday, January 12, 2007

Accidentally Vegan

Here is a very helpful list of items found in every day grocery stores that are vegan. It's quite interesting. I keep one in my purse at all times. With the way it's broken down and in alphabetical order, it makes it very easy to find a product in any given category I'm interested in. Much easier than reading all of the fine print on the side of ten different boxes. Now, you will notice that quite a lot of the items mentioned are of the junk food persuasion. However, there are also a lot of every day staples listed. Plus, I've never met anyone who doesn't like to partake in a little junk food now and again . . .

Breakfast (Dry)
Alpha Bits
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Apple Jacks
Berry Burst Cheerios
Bran Flakes
Cinnamon Crunch Crispix
Cinnamon Krunchers
Cinnamon Life
Cocoa Pebbles
Cocoa Puffs
Cocoa Rice Krispies
Complete Oat Bran
Complete Wheat Bran
Corn Chex
Corn Flakes
Corn Pops
Cracklin' Oat Bran
Froot Loops
Frosted Cheerios
Frosted Flakes
Fruit By the Foot
Fruit Harvest
Fruity Pebbles
Grape Nuts
Just Right
Life Cereal
Multi-Bran Chex
Multigrain Cheerios
Nature's Valley Granola Bars (Brown Sugar)
Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Apple Cinnamon)
Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Blueberry)
Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Strawberry)
Quaker Apples and Cinnamon
Quaker Cinnamon and Spice
Quaker Date and Walnut
Quaker Oatmeal (Raisin)
Quaker Raisins and Spice
Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs
Reese's Puffs
Rice Chex
Rice Krispies
Wheat Chex
Wheaties Raisin Bran

Alpine Spiced Cider
Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Hazelnut)
Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Mocha)
Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Double Chocolate)
Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate (Baking Cocoa)
Hershey Syrup (Chocolate)
Hershey Syrup (Strawberry)
Kool-Aid Drink Mix
Nescafe Ice Java Iced Coffee Syrup
Nestle Nesquick Syrup (Chocolate)
Nestle Nesquik Syrup (Strawberry)
Nestle Nesquik Syrup (Very Vanilla)

Airheads Taffy
Anna's Almond Cinnamon Thins
Anna's Ginger Thins
Archway Ginger Snaps
Blow Pops
Brach's Cinnamon Hard Candy
Brach's Cinnamon Hard Candy
Brach's Orange Slices
Brach's Root Beer Barrels
Brach's Star Brites
Bremner Wafers
Brownstone Baking Co. Mini Bagel Crisps (Garlic)
Carr's Table Wafer
Carr's Tea Biscuits
Charms lollipops
Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar
Chocolove Orange Peel (Dark Chocolate Bar)
Cracker Jacks
Cry Babies
Dem Bones
Dum Dums
Entenmann's Fudge Delights Fudge & Mint Cookies
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate)
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Oatmeal Macaroon)
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)
Ferrara Wafer Swirls With Chocolate
Food Lion Animal Cookies
Food Lion Ginger Snaps
Food Lion Oatmeal Cookies
Food Lion Saltines
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Assorted)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Creme)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Fudge)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Double Creme-O's)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Duplex)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Mini Chocolate & Vanilla Cremes)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)
Food Lion Snack Crackers
Food Lion Sugar Cookies
Fritos (Barbecue)
Fritos (Regular)
Goldenberg's Peanut Chews (Original)
Goldenberg's Peanut Chews
Goya Flan
Grandma's Peanut Butter Sandwich Cremes
Hain Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes
Herr's Onion Flavored Rings
Herr's Salsa and Lime Tortilla Chips
Hot Tamales
Hubba Bubba Bubblegum
Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
Keebler Animal Crackers
Keebler Club Crackers
Keebler Vienna Fingers
Kellogg's Fruit Snacks
Kettle White Popcorn
Kool-Aid Gels
Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies
Laffy Taffy
Lance Capitain's Wafers
Lance Choc-O Cookies
Lance Malt Crackers With Peanut Butter
Lance Nekot Cookies With Peanut Butter
Lance Nut-O Lunch Cookies (Peanut Butter)
Lance Nut-O Lunch Cookies (Strawberry Creme)
Lance Peanut Bar
Lance Sugar Wafers (Strawberry Creme)
Lance Sugar Wafers (Vanilla Creme)
Lance Toasty Crackers With Peanut Butter
Lance Van-O Lunch Cookies
Lay's Blue Corn Chips
Lay's Potato Chips (Natural Country Barbecue)
Lay's Potato Chips (Thick Cut Sea Salt)
Lay's Stax
Lay's WOW! potato chips
Lay's Yellow Corn Chips
Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes
Manischewitz Whole Wheat Matzo, Unsalted Matzo, and Savory Garlic
Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
Mates Pudding Mix
Melba Toast (Rye)
Melba Toast (Sesame)
Melba Toast (Wheat)
Mike and Ike
Murray Butter Cookies
Murray Cinnamon Grahams
Murray Coconut Bars
Murray Southern Kitchen Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Murray Sugar-Free Vanilla Wafers
Nabisco Ginger Snaps
Nabisco Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Nabisco Oatmeal Cookies
Nabisco Oreo Thin Crisps
Nabisco Original Graham Crackers
Nabisco Saltine Crackers
Nabisco Teddy Grahams (Chocolate and Cinnamon)
Nabisco Uh-oh Oreos, Spring Oreos, Chocolate Creme Oreos
Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (Apple Crisp)
Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (Maple Brown Sugar)
Nestle Double Chocolate Thin Mints
New York Flatbreads (Everything, Garlic, and Fat-Free)
Now and Later
Nutter Butter Bites
Panda Licorice
Pure De-Lite Coconut Bars
Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes
Ring Pop lollipops
Ritz Regular Crackers
Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers
Sesame Royale Breadsticks
Skittles Mints
Smarties (U.S. version only)
Snackwells Cracked Pepper Crackers
Snyder's Jalapeno Pretzel Bites
Snyder's Pretzel Sticks (Pumpernickel/Onion and Oat Bran)
Sour Patch Kids
Soy Crisps (Barbecue, Deep Sea Salt, and Garlic Onion)
Stacey's Pita Chips (Baked and Taxarkana Hot)
Starburst (jelly beans and hard candy)
Sun Chips Original flavor
Super Bubble
Swedish Fish
Sweet Tarts
Toasteds Crackers (Sesame and Wheat)
Town House Original Crackers
Triscuit Crackers (Original, Reduced Fat, Garlic Herb, and Roasted
Tropical Source mini chocolate bags
Utz Puffed Caramel Corn
VeganSweets marshmallows
Wasa Crispbread (Light Rye and Multi-Grain)
Wheat Thins (Original, Multi-Grain, and Reduced Fat, Sun-Dried Tomato)
Zesta Original Crackers

Arnold Premium Seasoned Stuffing
Betty Crocker Bac-o's Bacon Flavor Bits
Brianna's French Dressing
Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing
Brianna's Santa Fe Blend Dressing
Campbell's Franco-American Mushroom Gravy
Classico Pasta Sauces (Roasted Garlic and Spicy Red Pepper)
Dona Maria Mole
El Paso Enchilada Sauce
El Paso Enchilada Sauce
Girard's Champagne Dressing
Girard's Italian Dressing
Girard's Original French Dressing
Girard's Raspberry Dressing
Gravy Master Seasoning & Brown Sauce
Heinz Ketchup
Hunt's Manwich Sauce
Kame Marinades (Red Chili)
Kame Marinades (Sweet Teriyaki)
Kame Marinades (Thai Coconut)
Kame Marinades (Wasabi with Ginger)
Kellogg's Corn Flakes Crumbs
Knorr Red Bell Pepper Pesto Sauce Mix
Kraft Balsamic Dressing
Kraft Catalina Dressing
Kraft Classic Italian Vinaigrette Dressing
Kraft Creamy Italian Dressing
Kraft Fat Free Italian Dressing
Kraft French Dressing
Kraft French Fries Seasoning
Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce
Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Onion Mushroom)
Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Onion)
Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Vegetable)
McCormick Bac'n Pieces
McCormick Mesquite Chicken Seasoning
McCormick Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning
McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix
Newman's Light Balsamic Dressing
Newman's Light Italian Dressing
Newman's Light Raspberry and Walnut Dressing
Newman's Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
Newman's Red Wine Vinaigrette and Olive Oil Dressing
Newman's Regular Balsamic Dressing
Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
Pepperidge Farms Cubed Herb Seasoned Stuffing
Prego Mushroom Pasta Sauce
Ragu Pizza Sauce
Smucker's Goober Grape Peanut Butter
Smucker's Marshmallow Icecream Topping

Baked Goods:
Arnold's Carb-Counting Multi-Grain Bread
Arnold's Jewish Rye Bread
Arnold's Potato Sandwich Rolls
Arnold's Sesame Sandwich Rolls
Arnold's Stone Ground Whole Wheat Bread
Arnold's Wheat Sandwich Rolls
Cobblestone Mill Hoagie Rolls
Cobblestone Mill Jewish Rye Bread
Cobblestone Mill Kaiser Rolls
Cobblestone Mill Onion Rolls
Cobblestone Mill Party Rolls
Cobblestone Mill Pumpernickel Bread
Cobblestone Mill White Sub Rolls
Cobblestone Mill Whole Wheat Bread
Dutch Country Soft Potato
Dutch Country Whole Wheat
Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies (Apple)
Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies (Cherry)
Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies (Peach)
Little Debbie Cake Donuts
Pepperidge Farm Dark Pumpernickel Bread
Pepperidge Farm Rye and Pumpernickel Swirl Bread
Sunbeam Bread
Thomas New York Style Bagels (Blueberry)
Thomas New York Style Bagels (Cinnamon Swirl)
Thomas New York Style Bagels (Everything)
Thomas New York Style Bagels (Plain)
Thomas Toaster Bagels (Cinnamon Raisin)
Thomas Toaster Bagels (Plain)
Wonder Bread

Refrigerated and Frozen Foods:
Anne's Flat Dumplings
Athens Phyllo Dough
Athens Phyllo Mini Shells
Aunt Jemima Syrup Dunk'ers Cinnamon French Toast sticks
Calaro Guacamole
Edy's No-Sugar Bars
Edy's Whole Fruit Bars
Food Lion French Fries
Food Lion Hash Browns
Food Lion Restaurant Fries
Food Lion Seasoned Curly Fries
Food Lion Shoe String Fries
Food Lion Steak Fries
General Mills Italian-Style Vegetables
General Mills Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Krusteaz New French Toast Sticks (Cinnamon)
Krusteaz New French Toast Sticks (Original)
Lender's Bagels (Cinnamon Raisin)
Lender's Bagels (Onion)
Lender's Bagels (Plain)
Luigi's Italian Ice
Marie Callender Frozen Fruit Pies and Cobblers
Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade Bars
Mrs. Smith's Deep Dish Pie Crust
Ore-Ida French Fries
Ore-Ida Tater Tots
Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells
Pillsbury Cornbread Twists
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Pillsbury Turnover (Apple)
Pillsbury Turnover (Cherry)
Pinata Flour Tortillas
Safeway Whipped Cream (canned)
Simply Potatoes Diced Potato with Onion
Simply Potatoes New Potato Wedges
Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
Smart Beat Super Light Margarine
Smart Squeeze Fat-Free Margarine
Smuckers Uncrustables Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly
Smuckers Uncrustables Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam
SuperPretzel Baked Soft Pretzels

Aunt Jemima Coffee Cake Mix
Aunt Jemima Whole Wheat Pancake/Waffle Mix
Betty Crocker Bisquick
Blue Bonnet Light Margarine
Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
Crisco Original Cooking Spray
Crisco Zero Grams Trans Fat Per Serving All-Vegetable Shortening
Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix
Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (Chocolate)
Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (Classic Vanilla)
Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (French Vanilla)
Duncan Hines Double Fudge Brownie Mix
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Banana Supreme)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Butter Recipe Fudge)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Butter Recipe Golden)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Classic Yellow Cake)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Dark Chocolate Fudge)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Devil's Food)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (German Chocolate)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Lemon Supreme)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Orange Supreme)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Pineapple Supreme)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Red Velvet)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Spice Cake)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix (Strawberry Supreme)
Duncan Hines Muffin Mix (Blueberry)
Duncan Hines Muffin Mix (Chocolate Chip)
Duncan Hines Muffin Mix (Cranberry Orange)
Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
Hodgson Mill Bran Muffin Mix
Hodgson Mill Caraway Rye Bread Mix
Hodgson Mill White Bread Mix
Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix
Jello-O Instant Pudding (Banana Creme)
Jello-O Instant Pudding (Chocolate)
Jello-O Instant Pudding (Lemon)
Jello-O Instant Pudding (Vanilla)
Keebler Ready Crust Pie Crusts (Graham Cracker)
Keebler Ready Crust Pie Crusts (Shortbread)
Kraft Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
Martha White Pizza Crust Mix
Old El Paso Taco Shells
Royal Pudding & Pie Filling
Smart Balance Light Margarine
Thai Kitchen Noodle Bowls (Thai Peanut and Roasted Garlic)
Tropical Source Dark Chocolate Chips
Uncle Ben's Cinnamon and Raisin Rice Pudding Mix


Betty Crocker Hash Brown
Campbell's Franco-American Mushroom Gravy
Campbell's canned mushroom gravy
Del Monte White Corn Cream Style
Green Giant Cream Style Sweet Corn
Healthy Choice Garden Vegetable Soup
Hormel Chili
Hunt's Manwich Sauce
Knorr Red Bell Pepper Pesto Sauce Mix
Kraft "It's Pasta Anytime" Spaghetti with Marinara
Kraft French Fries Seasoning
Kraft Shake 'N Bake (Original Chicken Coating Mix, Original Pork
Coating Mix, and Hot/Spicy Coating Mix)
Kraft Taco Bell Soft Taco Dinner
Kraft Taco Bell Taco Dinner
Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Vegetable, Onion Mushroom, and Onion)
Manischewitz Sweet Potato Pancake Mix
McCormick Fajitas Seasoning Mix
McCormick Original, Hot, and Mild Chili Seasoning Mix
McCormick Pasta Salad Vinaigrette Dressing Blend
McCormick Sloppy Joe Seasoning
McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix
Near East Spanish Rice Pilaf and Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf
Near East Toasted Pine Nut Couscous and Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Cousous
Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
Old El Paso Fat-Free Refried Beans
Old El Paso No-Fuss Fajita Dinner Kit
Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
Progresso Soups (Lentil, Hearty Tomato, and Tomato Basil)
San Giorgio Pastas (Angel Hair, Elbow Macaroni, Rigatoni, Rotelle,and Spaghetti)
Swanson Vegetable Broth
Uncle Ben's Rice Pilaf, Oriental Fried Rice, Mexican Fiesta, Long Grain Rice, Wild Rice, Lemon & Herb, and Spanish Rice
Zatarain's Ready to Serve Jambalaya Rice
Zatarain's Red Beans & Rice, Black Beans & Rice, Black-Eyed Peas & Rice, Jambalaya, Gumbo Mix With Rice, and Dirty Rice Mix

After going through this list again, I've come to realize that I have quite a few things in my pantry that are not listed here. I'll have to go through everything and start adding them to the list as well. So, check back, the list will be updated.

Friday, January 5, 2007

About Me:

I'm not your stereotypical vegan. I'm not a size two, I don't go around throwing red paint on people who wear fur, I don't spend my free time searching the Internet for something new to protest (this is the thing that bothers me most, by the way, no vegan I know does this), and my monthly bill for my local health supply store is not equal to my rent.

I do, however, love animals. I love my family, and I love the environment. Those are the main reasons why I chose to become a vegan. I've never been able to understand how a nation, who's number one killer is heart disease, goes on to consume as much meat as we do. As a vegan, your risk for heart disease drops by a considerable amount. You aren't ingesting cholesterol what-s0-ever. If you eat right, you significantly lower you intake of saturated fats, not to mention fat alone. And those are just the health benefits! (I'm sure I'll go into the other benefits at a later date) It just seemed like a no-brainer choice to me.

My goal with this blog is to show people that being a vegan (or vegetarian for that matter) is not as hard as some make it out to be. In fact, it's quite simple. It's very easy to put together a healthy and hearty meal by using just the ingredients in your (or at least my) local grocery store alone. I live in a small town. There is one super tiny health food chain here and to say they don't carry all that much would be an understatement. So, if I can do it, I know anyone can.

I'm also a busy mom with a hectic schedule and I don't have the time to devote hours upon hours worrying about my menu and hard to find ingredients. I don't know about you, but when I look over a recipe, my first criteria is easily obtainable ingredients. If the only way I can make that item is if I first scour the Internet looking for the supplies, then I move on. In my opinion, those kinds of recipes are usually a let down, anyway. In fact, my favorite thing to do is to look back and remember all the wonderful meals my mom used to make for me when I was a child. Many of my memories are based around the food she used to make for me and the wonderful smells that used to permeate from her kitchen.

My mom is an awesome cook. Cooking has always come natural to her. She makes it easy. One of the best pieces of advice she's ever given me is to cook to your tastes. Season the food to the way you like (obviously, if you're a spicy kind of person and the rest of your family is not, then this may not be a good idea). And of course, if you don't taste the food while you're making it, how can you expect it to turn out right? Unfortunately, she's no where close to being vegan. Hence the reason for this blog. I want to be able to pass down all those comfort foods that I enjoyed as a child, to my own children, but make everything vegan instead.

When I first started on this journey, I thought it was going to be a hard one. However, much to my surprise, it's been relatively simple. Through much experimenting, (and a very trusting family) I've been able to fill my home with the wonderful foods from my childhood, added with a lot of newcomers of my own. And best of all, I'm going to share them with all of you!