Monday, October 29, 2012

Vegan--and Gluten-Free--Halloween Party Ideas

We are having a homeschool Halloween party this Wednesday. It is a potluck, so people are bringing food and I have not specified that it should be vegan. That's not my goal nor desire with a party where we're supposed to be hanging out together and having fun!

BUT I did decide that I want to serve some vegan fare. My daughter picked non-vegan fare in terms of Tombstone Sandwiches You could absolutely veganise them, but we're not at that point yet with sentimental sandwiches. ;)

Some other things that we will be making:

*Gluten-free vegan mini cakes--the recipe comes from "Eat Your Cake and Vegan Too" and the pans are Wilton Singles (only available through ebay and such now as Wilton no longer sells them).

*Pumpkin-Shaped Veggie Platter that I saw on Dreena Burton's Facebook Page
For the dips, I'll be making Holy Moly Hummus from "How It All Vegan" and then using one or two of the Epicure veggie dip mixes. I'll be buying some vegan sour cream or yoghurt and some Veganaise. Although if they don't have any Veganaise (they are sometimes out), I will unvegan it and use real mayo. The remaining hummus will go in a dish with some round corn tortilla chips (they're delicious with the multigrain, but I want to try to have options available for our gluten-free guest!)

*Blood Punch with a Frozen Hand--it's just juice mixed with some club soda (or other clear, fizzy beverage). You buy some rubber gloves, fill them with water, tie them up well with rubber bands and freeze them overnight. When you need one, cut away the glove and voilĂ !

So, there you go, some vegan--and gluten-free--ideas for a fun Halloween party!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Make Things Simpler?

I'm starting to think my life--when it comes to food I eat, as well as what I serve to my family--would be much simpler if I just really made the effort to go raw, or at least high raw. And, to be honest, the idea of going high raw feels incredibly complicated and difficult!

My 14yo has been showing some signs of wheat intolerance, possibly celiac. She also wants to be vegetarian, at least most of the time. And she knows she doesn't eat enough fruits and vegetables, but just picking a plain fruit or veggie is rather boring. And now there's an issue with how much rice you can eat each week (have you heard about that? high arsenic levels found) and food recalls here in Canada (beef, popcorn, Mini Wheats...) this and that and the other. Then there is me, with a known dairy intolerance/allergy and signs of soy sensitivity. It really hit me today that if we could find a number of raw recipes that we love, it would solve a lot of problems: grain-free, junk-free, meat-free, egg-free, high fruits and veggies...

Of course, I just got a pressure cooker for an early Christmas present, but I suppose I can still make use of it even if we end up high raw--and for the transitional period. I do have to find some recipes to try, which could be a whole other issue. I found this one book at the library and it seemed to have a lot of strange recipes, a lot of them with lamb and I can't remember what else. Turns out it's from Australia. I guess they have different staple foods in their diet than here in North America!

Where am I going with this? Not sure. It's Friday night and almost time for bed. I don't think my brain is fully functioning. :) But I suppose with all this in mind, I need to throw a question out there: Would going high raw vegan be simpler than going vegan with trying to avoid gluten, soy and I can't think of what else? Anybody been there, done that?

Friday, October 5, 2012


Life is interesting, isn't it? You can be going along, building momentum, feeling great about your progress (or the progress you are about to begin) then BAM! Everything comes tumbling down!

Since my last post, a lot of life has happened, including being sick for 3 weeks (nope, not kidding; still not over it), a gazillion activities, problems with school... It's really got me thinking about, "Am I just moving along through life and whatever comes my way or am I really thinking about what's most important and making sure to get it done?"

I feel like I want to do too much. And not just want, I set up plans and try to do too much. (Isn't there a book or something about women who do too much?) Or I set up the plan and feel guilty for not moving forward with it for whatever reason. I am beginning to wonder how many of my plans should not have been made in the first place! Would I still be sick if I stuck with the things that were most important? Possibly. But trying to do too much doesn't help.

And life continues on regardless. I guess I'm just hitting a point where I really want to feel like I'm making the most of my life not in quantity of things I get done, but in terms of the important-to-me quality of things I get done. Time to do a little soul searching. :)

On the up side of things, I finally tried Mimi Kirk's Raw Caesar Salad.

So good!!! Definitely a keep and one I will want to make often. Does it taste quite like Caesar salad? I don't know, it's been so long since I've had it. But I don't care: it's that good. It makes quite a lot of dressing so if you are the only one eating, you can store the rest in a container in the fridge. It will be gooey, but put a dollop on the size of salad you want, toss, add the cashew parmesan and you're good to go.