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Monday, November 12, 2018

Vegan Meatless Mushroom-Walnut Loaf Recipe

2 1/2 tablespoons of flaxseed plus 5 tablespoons of water (for flax eggs)
1 medium onion diced- any type of onion is fine
3/4 cup of celery diced
3 cloves of garlic
3 1/2 cups of baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, finely diced (but I think any type of mushroom is fine)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup of cooked potato - mashed
3/4 cup of old fashioned oats
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup of walnuts finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste.
Ketchup for the topping.

Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a large loaf pan with parchment paper.

Put potato on to cook.
Put rice on to cook
Mix flaxseed and water and set a side it will gel up in about ten minutes
Saute onions and celery for about 5 minutes in a little vegetable broth, then add garlic, thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper. Saute for an additional two minutes.
Add finely chopped mushrooms and cook for around seven to nine minutes.
In large bowl place mashed potato, rice, oats, breadcrumbs, corn starch, walnuts, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and combine well and add the mushroom mixture and continue to combine well.

Press mixture into prepared loaf pan, top with ketchup, bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes.

Can be refrigerated for 4 - 6 days, or kept in freezer for 2 - 3 months.

Great cold in a sandwich the next day, reheats well for future meals.

I found this recipe at at Vegan Huggs click here to visit website it is a treasure trove of recipes and if you sign up for the newsletter you are periodically emailed delicious vegan recipes.

ENJOY, my family, vegans and omnivores alike, enjoy this nut loaf.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Around The House

Almost two years ago our youngest child Emily moved back home with our grandson Masen. At the time Masen was just eighteen months old, they needed somewhere to live and we welcomed them into our home. Well fast forward two years, Emily is certified as an EMT and working full time on an ambulance for a local hospital along with going to school to eventually become a paramedic. Little Masen is now three and a half and goes to pre-school two days a week. At the beginning of this year Emily met a nice guy, they recently got engaged, he is a police officer and quite a bit older than she is but they seem to be a good couple. Joe just purchased a new house and Emily and Masen have moved in to join Joe and his children. So with all of this the sewing room I gave up for two years, and was happy to do so, so that Masen could have his own room is now mine again. 

Today I got up around five, I am always awake around four-thirty in the morning, came downstairs for my cup of coffee, vitamins and bowl of oats, worked on some crosswords and then headed out for a five and half mile run. I returned from my run, it was quite cold out, twenty-six degrees, freshened up and left for Mass. I popped into Kroger on my way home to pick up a few items I forgot to get on yesterdays shopping trip and headed home. Today Dave and I have the entire day to ourselves, how delicious, it rarely happens so is very, very enjoyable when it does occur.  Dave has spent the day outside, enjoying the cold but sunny weather while cleaning up the vegetable gardens, putting away lawn furniture and generally puttering around at a leisurely pace enjoying himself immensely. And me, I cleaned out the last bits and pieces from Masen's room, moving them into the room Emily used while she lived here, and moved all of my sewing and craft items back to my reclaimed sewing room.

One of the hymns we sang at Mass this morning really spoke to me, Lord Of All Hopefulness click here to hear . What a beautiful hymn, the words are very comforting. And as Father Mark told us, as long as we have Faith and Love in and for Our Lord we will always be okay.

Dave has plans for the room Emily used, he likes to make wine but hasn't done so for several years, once Emily and Joe move the rest of the stuff out of there it will become the Dave's "winery" and indoor craft room.  Boy do we ever sound like a couple of empty nest middle agers LOL. And, now our guest bedroom is back to being just that rather than a guest room with a bunch of my sewing things crammed in to every available space. 

So here are some pics:

Looking into the sewing room from the door, Masen's little bed will remain at house.

Three of my sickly and/or on the mend house plants will enjoy the sunny window.

All my sewing things back in their place.

A view from the doorway of the guest bedroom.

Another view of the guest room, my yellow and white teddy bear, Andrew who I have had since I was five is hanging out with Puppy Love a Snoopy stuffed animal my Dad brought home from America when I was fourteen.

Do you like house plants, apparently I do as I seem to have amassed a whole slew of them and have told myself enough is enough. They are kind of like pets, a few of them have names.

The succulent who keeps me company while I wash dishes.

The kitchen table crew, including Penelope Poinsettia II.

My Wandering Jew in the macrame hanger my son Ben made for my birthday.

A re-potting of a plant from my father-in-laws funeral in the cookie jar that always sat on the counter in my in-laws kitchen. 

The family room crew enjoy this sunny location. Doreen the Philodendron is on the right, I have had her for around fifteen years.

My orchid, will it ever bloom again, a Christmas cactus and an Aloe Vera plant hang out in the dining room.
Another re-potting of plants from Ralph's funeral earlier this year.

Fern 1

Fern 2

The accumulation of bits and bobs on my family room wall.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

More Vegan Cooking

Wow, with my husband eating vegan most days of the week, this is a huge lifestyle change for him, I have had to get creative with cooking so he doesn't get bored. It is a fun and enjoyable challenge to search for vegan recipes that are healthy, tasty, and I think Dave will enjoy. So far I think I am succeeding with the challenge.

This week I made sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, I modified the recipe slightly, I used collard greens instead of spinach, and did not bake the wraps in the oven covered in salsa. Instead filled the high-fiber wheat tortillas with the sweet potato black bean mix and served them with salsa and pickled beets on the side. A very colorful meal, I guess it became more of a burrito than an enchilada, the filling, I tasted a little, was very, very flavorful. Dave really enjoyed.

Last night I made a dish called African Vegetables - what a delicious meal. I filled a large bowl with brown rice and put an ample portion of the African Vegetables on top, again Dave really enjoyed his meal. The recipe started with onion, garlic, and green pepper sautéed in vegetable broth, to this cinnamon and paprika is added, then about a cup of water, some cubed sweet potato, sliced zucchini, corn, spinach, canned tomato, tomato paste, and just before serving a large scoop of natural peanut butter is added. To me the peanut butter is the ingredient that totally makes all of the flavors fuse together, making a "party in your mouth" kind of experience that is spicy, peanutty, vegetabley, and just the thing for a cold and gloomy November evening.

Tonight I am serving left overs from the past couple of days. But, I have more recipes to try on Dave, a very nice sounding twice baked potato, a black-eyed pea salad, and a masala chickpea dish. There is a recipe for a salad made with couscous, I plan to substitute quinoa, as I am not keen on couscous.

The recipes I am using are all from a cook book I purchased early this year after borrowing a copy from our local library. The cook book is called, The China Study CookBook by Leanne Campbell, PHD.  All of the recipes are whole food plant based and all are very healthy, no added oils or fats, very limited sugar, very limited salt. Most recipes have simple ingredients so are not expensive to make and usually I have most items already in the house, or a suitable substitute.

I have found with cook books it is often best to borrow a copy from the library, really look through it, try a few recipes and then make a decision about whether it is worth buying. I have purchased a few vegan cook books in the past and then not really used them as the recipes are either not very healthy, or call for unusual and expensive ingredients.

Do you have a favorite cook book?

Peace be with you,


Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Spledoinkel Day

Today is granddaughter Alivia's 6th birthday, yesterday evening I took her birthday shopping, we had a really nice time out and ended our evening at her favorite restaurant, McDonalds! Alivia selected her birthday meal, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and fruit cocktail. My son Matt, Alivia's daddy, is making a giant meatloaf to bring over, and of course there will be birthday cake and ice cream. I made up a vegan loaf for the vegetarians and vegans in the family.  I just love that a six year old enjoys such a nice comfort food kind of meal, she picked the same birthday dinner for her 5th birthday, and grandson Patrick picked the same meal for his 8th birthday this year. Grandson Henry always picks spaghetti and garlic bread, and grandson Charlie always wants pancakes and sausage. I wonder what meals the five younger grandchildren will want as they get older.
Alivia and Ralphie enjoy their Happy Meals at Mickey D's

Vegan loaf all mixed up and ready to pop in the oven a little later today

This morning I went out for a run, it was a little below freezing, no wind, and the air was clear and sharp, really the most perfect running weather. My times were excellent, I only ran three miles, but did each one in under ten minutes. When I finished my run I took a few pictures, it was simply beautiful out and the crisp fall air very invigorating.

Pretty fall foliage

A picture of the tree line

Me feeling invigorated after my run.

My "big bird" running pants, ha ha!

A view of the back of our house with a frost covered roof.

The day went from a cold and frosty morning to a brilliant fall day. Grandsons Henry and Patrick came over for the afternoon and have kept grandson Masen entertained. They built a leaf nest and then sat in it eating Kit Kat bars. 
The boys in their nest
 Dave has taken advantage of the mild weather to  trim some branches in the areas that we park out front, a necessary chore and one that I think he rather enjoys.

I just finished reading The Lido by Libby Page, I enjoyed it for the most part although felt it dragged a bit towards the end. It is a nice story, I cared about the characters, but felt that the ending was really rather unlikely. I much preferred the book I read before it, The Keeper of Lost Things. I am now reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, although only a little way into the story I am really enjoying it.
I picked a few books up at our local library branch, it is a small branch and the selection of books is a bit scant. I like the MC Beaton Agatha Raisin stories, but am not a fan of his Hamish MacBeth stories. They are both sort of silly mystery story series with the "cozy" factor so many mystery have.
I have never heard of Becky Clark, but I think it is going to fall into the silly mystery story with the cozy factor genre. The third book, The Farm by Tom Rob Smith sure sounds good, but the reviews are rather so so, I will give it start and see how it goes.

I refilled the bird feeders today, I cannot tell you how much pleasure the grandchildren and Dave and I get from watching all of the birds who visit our feeders. We have many woodpeckers, lots and lots of sparrows, blue jays, red wings, and cardinals. In the summer, gold finches, blacked capped chickadees, humming birds, join the throng, and we saw a Baltimore oriole and an indigo bunting this year. We get cat birds and cow birds, and mourning doves. And occasionally our neighbors chickens go on a wander and always manage to show up to peck at all of the dropped seed around the feeders. Nature, there is always something interesting to see and enjoy so it is very important that we all help take care of the environment.

The all you can eat buffet for the avian wildlife
And last, but not least, I bought a new tea towel for the kitchen, it is hanging on the front of the stove, don't you just love Mr. Fox. When we purchased this stove I made sure it had a handle on the front of the oven that would allow me to hang a towel from it, our last stove did not and I always wished it did.
Splendid Mr. Fox