I participated in my second Vegan Food Swap last month and was super excited for all the new things to try. If you are not familiar with the Vegan Food Swap be sure to visit http://www.theverdantlife.com/p/vegan-food-swap.html to get more information. October will be the last one for the month as Cat is taking a few months off for the Holidays.
My Vegan Food Swap came from Shannon at http://leavesandflours.blogspot.com this month. I love that she helped satisfy my sweet tooth but also provided some raw treats to enjoy. There was not one thing in my swap that I had ever tried before and I loved that.
If I had to pick one thing that was my ABSOLUTE favorite it would be the maccaroons
One particular item that I liked less than the others were the sprouties but they were still not bad.
The chocolate bars were nothing I expected them to be. I shared the one with Sea Salt with my kids and they loved it. It took me a bite or two to get used to the taste but once I did there was no more sharing 🙂
Thank you Shannon-I will be out searching for a few of these items to add to my snack drawer at work.
Back in the December I purchased a Groupon for Hot Yoga. I had always wanted to try yoga so I thought what better time than to try it out (10 classes for $20). It was not until early spring that I actually got around to using it.
Not really knowing what to expect I walked into class with my yoga mat and proceeded to sweat my A** off. When I say I sweat my A** off I do not just mean little beads of sweat or a damp sports bra. I mean slipping on the mat sweat , pouring off my face like a water faucet sweat, burning and stinging my eyes causing blindness sweat, sopping wet sports bra sweat. I think you get the picture.
I remember telling myself “normal people do not do this”, and that is when I remembered I am not normal. I am now hooked on Yoga and try to go at least once a week and as NASTY as I feel when I leave it does not compare to how great I feel inside.
So last week I decided to try a new recipe. When I decided to change my diet earlier this year one of the first blog’s I came across was Cara’s Cravings. I never actually tried anything, quite frankly because I was terrified of the ingredients that some of the recipes called for. After having a little bit more experience and walking up and down the aisles of Whole Foods I decided to venture back to try out some recipes.
Which brings me to Butternut Squash and Chickpea Patties with Grape-Avocado Salsa.
I had a ton of fun with this recipe and results did not disappoint.
Next time I make this recipe I would cut the grapes a little smaller. The recipe calls to cut them in half and I either had some ginormous grapes or they were really just supposed to be that big. For me personally I would dice them to give it a more salsa like appeal.
Moving onto the Butternut Squash and Chickpea Patties. These were absolutely delicious!! Again, I am learning as I go on this journey and each recipe is trial and error. The recipe calls for the squash to be peeled. I baked the squash first and then tried to peel it which proved to be a challenge since the squash was soft and mushy. The end product was still delicious but getting it finished was more difficult than what it needed to be.
I wish I could say I had a picture of the finished product…………..but another lesson learned with blogging………charge the camera. Head over to Cara’s Cravings to see the finished product and all her other cool recipes.
The #1 item on my bucket list was to go sky diving. Never in my life did I actually think that I would have been able to make this dream become a reality. Especially when I was carrying around an extra 80lbs due to the weight limits for this “adventure”. Well in August of 2011 I was able to cross this item off my bucket list.
My flight time was not until around 1pm in the afternoon but I had to get to the drop zone early to fill out all kinds of waivers and watch an ancient video about the risks of skydiving. I assume anyone who decides to venture into this extremely dangerous sport already knows the risk they are taking but this all for liability purposes so………
There was a lot of sitting and waiting and at first I was extremely annoyed and realizing I may be having second thoughts about crossing this off my bucket list. I think the excitement, nerves, and anticipation almost got the best of me. I also think that there is a reason they have you arrive so early prior to your jump time and it’s not only to watch the goofy video. As I was sitting there I watched groups go up and come back down, up and down, up and down, and as I watched these people go up and down my nerves also went down and the closer it came time for my jump I was almost ready. Well sort of.
It was now or never and this was something I had waited my entire adult life to do and I chose now. Going in the plane was a bit scary. After all it was a tiny plane that had been running all day and what if this time was the time it decided it didn’t want to work. There were also storms rolling in and winds were picking up and it appeared that they were going to have to shut everything down due to safety reasons. All I kept thinking was “I have gotten this far, I have to do this, I have to do this.”
I did it. I remember exactly what I was thinking as my feet were dangling over the side of an airplane in the air. It went something like “Oh Holy S**T.” I was really doing this and at this point there wasn’t much I could do if I decided I wanted to back out.
As soon as we jumped I closed my eyes. It took me a split second to realize that I may never be able to picture this again and that I needed to open my eyes and take it all in. As soon as I did everything hit me all at once. It was SO LOUD during those moments of free fall and VERY COLD but the adrenaline rush was something I had and haven’t since experienced before.
It was so beautiful and peaceful aside from me screaming and giving thumbs up to my camera guy and screaming “THIS IS AWESOME”
I’m not sure exactly how long we were free-falling. I remember in the moment it felt like forever but in reality I am sure it was not as long as it seemed.
After the chute was pulled it was really quiet. We were just floating and gliding and looking at the earth below us. I was having some really strong emotions going on that point but managed to suck them in (especially with some guy strapped to my back that I had just met 20 minutes earlier) The overall experience only lasted a few minutes but the memories will last forever.
I am working through trying to get some recipes that can be used as your everyday standby meal. Working full time, shuffling kids here and there, and trying to fit in workouts does not leave much room for preparing meals. One thing I have learned over the past few years when it comes to diet is that you need to plan ahead. So as I have started this journey I have done a ton of research searching for some recipes that are quick and easy yet healthy and will past the test of my youngest daughter who is my toughest critic. I am sure this has nothing to do with my epic fail at my first attempt in making tofu.
During my research I stumbled upon a blog called Daily Garnish by Emily Malone and found the Vegan Bean Burgers. They looked easy enough and I had all of the ingredients needed to make them so I decided to give them a go and see if they past the test.
The recipes calls for Pepita (pumpkin) seeds but I only had flax seeds. I opted to throw these in and see how it turned out.
Once I had all my ingredients prepped and ready to go I opted to use the food processor instead of the Vitamix. To be honest I am still a little scared of it and all it POWER. My husband laughs at me whenever I go to use it because of the fear he sees in my eyes. I am sure I will grow to love it but right now I’ll stick with what I know.
Once all the ingredients are added to the food processor its time to mix them all together to form a really ugly grayish/brown looking paste. Although the mixture does not look very appealing the finished product is wonderful.
The trick to this whole recipe is forming this mixture into patties. As the recipe calls for, I highly recommend getting your hands a little damp. This prevents the mixture from sticking to your hands. You may need to do this a few times during the process.
Now all that is left to do is pop these into the oven and let them bake. They will be dry and a little crispy on the outside but do not let this fool you. They are my new favorite burger. I dress them up with a little bit of fun to make them just right.
Once everything is ready to be assembled-You are ready to enjoy a delicious Vegan Bean Burger. The “little bit of fun” toppings are entirely up to you. The only thing I honestly think my burger was missing was a bit of tomato. “Oh Well” just gives me another reason to make them again. Enjoy!