Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just one of the reasons why I love Kevin....

Lyndsay: Hmmmm, I really have a craving for cake.

Kevin: What kind?

Lyndsay: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Feeling Saucy

I am feeling a little saucy! Mostly because I can’t get enough of the apple sauce we keep making….I mean it. We keep making it. Every three days I run out and Kevin goes to one of the various local markets (ok, there are some things I love about Brussels), and picks up more local Belgian apples and away we go again.

It is so dead easy. Take 7 – 8 apples, core them, cut them into fours, and into the big pot they go. We add about two teaspoons of cinnamon and just enough water to stop it burning on the bottom (about 1/2 cup), and then we leave it alone for about 2 hours. Seriously – divine. No sugar, no nothing, just pure apple goodness.

I am also feeling a little saucy because I quit my job! Yes, yes, yes. I quit. I wasn’t really keen on the idea of going back to work after my year leave was up, even before Aodhan was born. But, now that he is here and we are full on with the Attachment Parenting, I can’t imagine not being with him through all the stages and changes that his childhood will bring him. Of course I am a privileged mamma who has that as an option and thank bejebus everyday for having a partner who supports this type of childcare and family love.

But the good stuff doesn’t stop there. I was thinking that even though I wouldn’t be returning to classroom, I still want to be busy and keep growing while I help mini-me grow. I was contemplating my PhD studies, I was thinking about a bunch of different things, but what really drew me was the idea of becoming a doula…and that is exactly what I have started to do. I am training through Childbirth International and I should be all trained up and ready to help babies come into the world by the time we make our next move (oh yah, we are hopefully moving….back to Canada!) in July. I really couldn’t be more excited…or sauced as the case may be

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Raw Rolls

I know I should be doing something like cleaning up the kitchen (aka: bombsite), making creative flower arrangements with photos like the one I saw at playgroup yesterday that made me feel like a loser for not even having time to sort my socks from my undies, or, doing some reading about parenting that might have held a magical secret for dealing with my 7 month old who had a meltdown during our walk today that resulted in my pulling out my boob in the middle of the street in -4 degree weather. But no....instead, as Aodhan munches on his monkey, I am blogging! Yah!

I made a killer lunch today. Really raw avocado rolls. Not just raw veg, but raw EVERYTHING. These rice-free, protein packed sushi rolls were a perfect 'get me through the rest of the day until Kevin comes home' kind of snack. And, so much more easy to assemble then their rice filled brother.

Seriously - you have to make these. Go and do it right now. Go!

2 cups of raw sunflower seeds - soaked for 1 hour.
1 lime
2 sheets of nori
1 ripe avocado

I whirled up my seeds and lime in my food processor (much to Aodhan's horror), and then simply used this seedi-goodness in place of rice filler for my rolls. It took me all of two seconds to assemble the avocado rolls and about 2 minutes to down them! Num Num! you can see - they were fun for the whole family!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Food for Love

It all starts with that first Mother's Day breakfast you make. You know the one - Relish and Applesauce Pancakes or something equally revolting that your sleepy mother manages to ingest (or hide) because you are standing at the end of the bed smiling a sloppy smile. As foodies, many of us use our kitchen skills (wackiness), to show affection, love, and thanks. First date dinners, birthday cakes, get-well-soon soups, the list is endless, right?

Yesterday, I made a special batch of cookies for someone who I love very much. She is one of those special lights in the world. You know who I am talking about. They always have bandaids, they know what teas are good for a cold, their purses are likely to have just about anything in them that would help someone in need. These people are also often unaware of their seam bursting goodness and go about life doing good just because of who they are. I was lucky enough to have this person around me while I was pregnant, and she was pivotal in getting me through that time in a country other then my own while missing my own family in a huge way. She has stayed close to Aodhan and I and we are lucky to have visits with her about once a month. Lately there have been (and will be) some new babies born amoungst our community of international friends and she has been right there with these women - supporting, helping and loving. She is a super star and I just love her to bits.

Knowing that we were going to see her today, I made a new cookie so that I could pass some goodness onto someone who does so much for everyone around her. I made Ginger Spice Cookies. Now, these weren't Ginger Snaps - they were Ginger Cookies, retaining all the cookieness that seems to get lost for the sake of snappiness. I have to say, they were pretty darn good, and they should be considering all the love that was packed in them. I hope she is at home right now enjoying a cup of tea and a cookie or two. Here's to you Anne!

Ginger Cookies
(for Anne)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder

1 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of olive oil
3 tbsp of freshly grated ginger

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add wet and stir until just mixed. I used a big soup spoon to capture a good chunk of the dough and then used my mitts to form little hockey puck sized patties. I baked at 350 for 17 minutes.

Aodhan turned 7 months today!!
Wishing everyone cookies and happiness for their weekend to come.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Green Smoothie and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Good Morning!
Aodhan and I enjoyed a fantastic green smoothie this morning. Super simple combo of spinach, 1/2 a pear, banana and a tbsp of chia seeds. Double yum!

On Tuesday night I converted last month's Vegetarian Times' Shepherd's Pie into my own concoction and it was great! I loved it and will make it again for sure. Here is what I put in the pie this time around:

1 carrot
2 leeks
1 yellow onion
1 cup of white beans
4 yellow potatoes
2 parsnips

The topping was mega easy to make: dice up a couple of sweet potatoes and mash them to bits after they boil and add it to the top of the insides before tossing it in the oven. I baked it for about 40 minutes and enjoyed with some hot sauce. Num Num!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pizza and Pumpkin Pie (Ice Cream!)

We had our usual Sunday Night Pizza Party last night. This was a special one though, because Aodhan got his very own mini pizza. He didn't seem to care too much about what was on his pizza, but was more interested in using the whole wheat crust to help his painful gums. It was a great meal, as usual made by Kevin. He is a pizza pro and spends the entire day getting his veg roasted to perfection before getting started on his dough. What a guy! We also made some really nice Apple Sauce yesterday, which I had for breakie this morning - much to Aodhan's delight.

Tonight's dessert, Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, which followed a dinner of whole wheat pasta topped with the left over veg from last night, was in one word: heaven. My version of Wheeler's Pumpkin Ice Cream (from Vegan Scoop - great book), sent me into ice cream ecstacy - really. I have never tasted anything quite like it. Visually it looked like, well, baby poop. It smelled just like a pumpkin pie, and it was oh so tasty. Really, I can't recommend enough giving your ice cream maker the luxury of experiencing making this recipe. I could (and just might) eat it all night long.

Well, off to cuddle a feverish baby with hopes that his teeth come through this week and he can have a little relief before which ever milestone he is about to tackle next. Poor little vegan.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Home Baked Goods

Aodhan and his dad are off to the shop, so I thought I would take a few seconds and give a quick update. The last week has been fantastic, despite teething and crankypants! Aodhan is managing enough non-mommy time that I can actually do things, like: make food, clean the house and shower. I admit it: I have a high-needs baby. He wants to be held all the time, he wants to be cuddled always, and he isn't the kind of baby you can lay down on the floor and let play on his own. But, I am not complaining. He is firmly attached to his mommy, and the theory is that this will help him build confidence and self-esteem. Plus, who would trade in all the cuddles and kisses?

But, it has been nice to see him managing himself a little more. I am so excited to be back in the kitchen at a capacity that goes beyond opening a tin of beans and heating up some potatoes. During the days this week, much in the way of the ACT cleanse, I have been raw. This decision is multi-purpose.
1. I was feeling a little sluggish and blah after all the traveling and visiting of the holidays and the raw goodness helps me feel a little more perky and more like myself.
2. Someone incredibly close to me is experiencing some difficult health barriers right now and having to give up most foodstuffs until tests etc can provide some conclusive answers to a pretty terrible set of symptoms. So, I thought I would stand next to them in a metaphorical way and treat my body with the same kind of love and care as she is currently practicing.
3. I always love having an excuse to make raw Date and Cashew Balls and gorge on them until the sun goes down.


The evenings have been some good home cooking! Chickpea Stew, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Carrots in Miso and Soya, Lentil Soup, and Bread!

I made two giant loaves last night of Herbey Whole Wheaty and they are divine. One is going to my bestie Kim, and the other is going to be gobbled up tonight with some Baked Tofu and Greens. I am also currently freezing some Chocolate Chip Coconut Ice Cream!!!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Ice Cream

1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
2 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Add the arrowroot to the almond milk and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ice cream. Throw all of the other ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan and heat until boiling, making sure to whisk occasionally. Once you have a good boil going, and your chips are melted, add your almond milk and arrowroot. Mix and take off the heat. Let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes before tossing it in the fridge for 2 hours. Add to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions (we use one with a built-in freezing mechanism, but the other ones work just as well!)

I am also cooking up another blog, one dedicated to my adventures in attachment parenting - there just isn't enough information out there about the benefits of what makes up attachment parenting, nor are there enough resources. I can't wait for it be ready for sharing!

Well, that's about all from Chez VeganCowGirl.
I hope everyone is happy and healthy!

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Hungry Little Vegan Caterpillar

It has been decades since my last post. But, no apologies. I am loving mommyhood too much to find the time needed to sink into my blogging. Plus, we have been busy! I do however, have to blog my sister's most amazing tribute to Aodhan's 6 month birthday.

Emily is a stellar cake/cupcake maker, but I wasn't prepared for just how talented she was when she turned Aodhan's favourite book, into the best 1/2 birthday treat EVER.

She used the chocolate cupcake recipe from VCTOTW and the rest was her own inspiration. She was also cool about taking out the sugar and using some maple syrup instead.....

Aodhan loved it. Ok....I LOVED IT!

We are currently enjoying the world of Baby Led Weaning, which involves letting your little make his own way into the world of food. Aodhan can't get enough of anything we offer, including Tofu 'Chicken' Curry Salad, cucumber, rice cakes, peanut butter, hummus - you name it, he'll eat it. He is still 100% a boob man, but I can see that the days will be numbered once he gets his teeth (still NOTHING!) and makes the synaptic connection between hungry belly, chewing and swallowing. Until then he is just enjoying food for the fun of it and learning all about the textures, tastes and smells.

Hope everyone had a very veganny holiday! Happy New Year!