pretty in pink vegan

pretty in pink vegan

Friday, February 28, 2014

Breakfast For Dinner

SPENDING FREEZE UPDATE: I am actually quite proud of myself because Thursday nights I am off mommy duty so I eat whatever I want. I sent Bianca a text to see if she was going to Imagine for dinner and she said that she was only going for take out. I resisted the urge to spend money and made dinner at home. I settled on a triple stack BLT with sprouted chips. Also today since my willpower is sooo low I turned off my debt card. Now the only way I can get money is to go to the bank and Cassi hates going into a bank. Its the lines. So I have my 30 bucks for groceries and the $4 in change that was in the bottom of my purse. Wish me luck. 

Now I will be the 1st to admit that breakfast is my weakest area foodwise mainly because there is nothing about breakfast that appeals to me vegan or non vegan. So when it comes to breakfast ideas I stick to what I know but Keithon is a breakfast person and will eat it for every meal if you let him. So who better to test recipes out on than him. I saw a recipe for pancake dippers on Facebook so I decided to veganize it. It is a simple concept, its bacon inside a pancake in strip form. Easy enough so I whipped up a basic pancake batter and used the Light Life Bacon.  All you do is pour the batter into the pan and place the bacon on top the pour more batter on top and cook like normal. It took me a few tries to pour the batter into strip but by George I got it. ( And got grease all over my new pans but with a little baking soda I got it all off)

I was feeling a bit like a power ranger as well so I decided to tackle an omelet. I have NEVER had an omelet in my life. I hate eggs. Always have always will. They stink and taste gross but omelets are a breakfast/brunch staple. So its only fitting that the universe gives me a child that loves eggs. Now I know the basic concept of omelets I've seen enough cooking shows to know how to cook one and what they should look like so after scanning the Internet for recipes I was not happy with the texture of any of the ones I saw so I said screw it and created my own recipe. One the inside I added spinach, mushrooms and  added black salt to the "egg" mixture. I was also able to used my new egg pan to fried them up. I was so excited about the texture I accidentally burned myself on the pan. (that's what happens when you get cocky) Now of course I didn't eat the omelet, it made my kitchen smell like farts but Keithon loved it. It was fluffy and eggie. His one critique was that it tasted more like an hard boiled egg than an omelet. I just looked at him because I don't know what either taste like. 

Now of course I did not eat any of this madness.  So I made a separate dinner for myself. You guessed I had a big bowl of noodles!!!! I really need more ideas for breakfast for if you have any ideas PLEASE give me some of them. Another side note yesterday I had a 90's flashback and I was craving a bottle of Clearly Canadian. Yes I know they stopped making that years ago but guess what, there is a Kickstarter program to bring it back this spring. I am totes excited and as soon as this freeze is over I am preordering a case. Check out the site and preorder some. They state that they won't charge you until it goes into production. Check out the page here.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spaghetti and Meatballs

 SPENDING FREEZE UPDATE: So far so good but the weekend hasn't hit so the reality hasn't set in that I can't spend money. I started to get a little desperate for disposable income that I decided to clean out my purse to see what I could dig up. Not including the pennies I have a whole 4 bucks in change!!! I'm not sure if I should spend it save it or buy a lottery ticket and hope for the best. Needless to say its still in my purse....waiting. Since I can't go and get my crack coffee from Einsteins Bros. I had to drink what the office has. It sucks, so to jazz it up I took my vanilla soy milk and shook it until the was foamy and poured it into the coffee. I call it the Cassi Latte.

Now for dinner a few nights ago I decided to be creative in the kitchen. I purchased a few spaghetti squash and almost forgot I had them so I knew I had to use them before they went bad. Also on Saturday while I was at Family Dollar picking up a headband they had chickpeas on clearance for 35 cents. It turns out that they will no longer be carrying them so I grabbed 3 cans. I told Keithon that I would be making Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner and he so graciously reminded me that we were out of Trader Joe's Meatballs. I told him I know but instead of meatballs I'm going to use chickpeas and spaghetti squash. He looked at me and walked away.

So I set to work on making the sauce and while the sauce was reducing I added half for the rinsed chickpeas and reserved the other half just in case half a can was too much. ( you can always add more if its not enough but its hard to subtract once its added) I was also being a short cut Sally and nuked the squash for 8 minutes versus the 30 in the oven. I should have used the oven because a small squash did not need the full 8 minutes so mine was not as crunchy as I would have liked. 

Once the sauce was to the thickness of my liking I scooped on a cup of the tomato mixture and garnished it with a few of the reserved chickpeas and VOILA spaghetti and meatballs. Since I am on this freeze and we are NOT  wasting food I used the tomato sauce and chickpea mixture for another dish that I will share on Friday. I like that dish even more.

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Last Hoorah

If you know me personally , you know that mama LOVES to spend money. I couldn't explain why maybe I just like the ability to obtains things without having to look to someone else. Today I checked my Japan fund and it is below the level I set for myself. ( Hush it Bianca) So I have now put myself on a spending freeze. A part of my soul has died. By spending freeze I mean that Cassi can not buy anything extra and that includes my grocery bill. That will also be going to the straight basics. It is a scary thought but if my little ass is going to get to Japan COMFORTABLY I need to reel the spending in now. I feel like daddy just cut up all my credit cards when I think about the things I am letting go of. No manicures, social club, bars, Hulu, shoes and sadly no dinning out. OH LAWD JESUS TAKE ME NOW.  Now I am able to continue these things if my awesome friends treat but I would never ask them to do that and it would be very hard for me to accept the gesture. Lucky for Keithon and I we were able to go to brunch Sunday at DeJaVu. That brunch cost me a week's worth of groceries. That is the main reason for the freeze. A large chunk of my disposable income goes to dinning out.

 DeJaVu has been open for quite awhile but I haven't had a chance to check out the new location on S. Main. Since the weather was super nice Sunday Keithon and I parked the car and took a stroll downtown instead of parking super close. The second DeJaVu is AMAZEBALLS. It is bigger and the outside brightly colored, in true New Orleans colors. I love it. The second wonderful thing about them is they have a half and half menu. To my knowledge there are only 2 half and half sit down restaurants in Memphis and by half and half I mean there is a meaty side as well as a vegan side and the vegan side has just as many options as the meaty side. I love this because it makes dating sooo much easier. (yeah I've decided I'm going to continue to date)

 Sunday's Brunch did not disappoint. I was in heaven. Check out the spread. There was a HUGE salad. I fell in love with the bowl, I need one of these in my life. There was also cabbage, collard greens, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes.

There were also two proteins to choose from, a mock chicken salad and mini veggie burgers with rolls. I feel in love with the mock chicken salad. If my vegan senses serve me correct it is a tempeh based salad. Once I am off this spending freeze I will crack that recipe. It was creamy with just the right amount of spices there wasn't a heavy "mayo" taste to it. ( I have always hated eggs and anything egg based it stinks and tastes gross) Now as far as the veggie burger go I can't quite place what it was mainly because I was super focused on the mock chicken salad but it was tasty none the less.

I behaved myself calorie wise but I did go back and make myself a mock chicken salad salad. It was just that good. I even indulged and ordered the New Orleans Big Shot. I had no clue what it was and it turned out to be a pineapple soda that was 130 calories a serving and the bottle held 3 servings so needless to say I shared with Keithon and spread the rest out during the day.

I can't wait until I break my freeze and am able to go back. I went a little too early because I was really hoping to hear Tonya Dyson perform during the brunch but it turns out that her set doesn't start until 2pm and Keithon and I arrived a little after 12 noon. If you haven't heard Tonya perform and you are in the Memphis area PLEASE  go check her out she is AMAZEBALLS  and fits right in with the DeJaVu vibe. 

Now please excuse me while I mentally prepare for this undertaking that is about to happen. One the drive home from work I kept seeing billboards and street signs for all types of things I want to do and I started to think about all the things I have to let go of until at least April but this trip will be so worth it. I broke the news to Keithon that we ( I ) were not spending any extra money and we ( I ) would only be spending $20 every two weeks on groceries so no eating just to be eating. His response "so that means we can't eat out?"  What can I say the boy is spoiled. Until this freeze is over I will be a slightly deprived diva so if you love me send me wine, blocks of extra firm tofu, or gift cards to Diva Nails or at least go check out DeJaVu and think about me as you eat. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

When Did I Eat That?

Today I was going through my phone to see what pics I could get rid of. I have a ton of pics, sadly mostly of food so instead of deleting them all I decided to do a food dump. That way all my good eating doesn't go to waste. 

Last week our monthly Vegan Drinks meet up was held at  Evelyn & Olive a local Jamaican Restaurant. I've visited Evelyn & Olive as a non vegan and the food was great and the vegan side of their menu was even better. I ordered the Marley Meal which consisted of Kingston Cabbage, rice and peas with a side of cucumbers and tomatoes. I have never been a fan of cabbage but this cabbage was amazing!

I am a big Buzzfeed reader mainly because some of the things are just hilarious and one of my Buzzfeed read throughs I stumbled about this gen of vegan comfort foods. So I had to try at least one of these recipes and it would not be Cassi of me if I did not change it to fit my needs. Hey its what I do. The recipe I flipped was the Popcorn Tofu Chicken. When I got done it tasted like chicken and Keithon asked for seconds. Nothing says comfort foods like mac and cheese so I whipped up a pot of that as well. My secret to creamy mac and cheese is using soy milk and chunks of the Dayia wedge cheese. It give me a better texture than the shreds. Check out the complete list here. Hopefully one of my recipes makes a Buzzfeed list.

Now my idea of comfort food is totally different from the above Buzzfeed list. A week or so ago we had some crazy ice snow madness going on.  I took Keithon to school only to pull up to find that they closed the school 15 minutes before I pulled up so I had to bring Keithon to work with me until his Grandmother pick him up. Also on the drive to work my car decided to slide on a patch of ice, across three lanes of traffic. Praise baby Jesus that there was no traffic. Which is very rare for Poplar Ave. To top the day off we had clients visiting the office so I couldn't call in and the kicker, they called to reschedule the office visit. So after all that madness all I wanted was a big bowl of rice noodles, veggies and fried tofu from Pho Binh and my pink fuzzy slippers.

Of course on Super Bowl Sunday we ate like "crap". So I veganized a few of Keithon's favorite "guy foods". I veganized the ever so poplar Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip, made a few Buffalo Chicken bites and fries. Needless to say Keithon was a happy camper. I on the hand was little sick from all the heaviness of the meal. 

Now my phone's photo gallery is a bit cleaner and very few of my pictures had to go to waste. I still deleted 130 picture. I really need to start taking pictures of something other than food.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keithon's Pick For Dinner

 In my house I never plan out our meals for the week. As OCD as I am you'd think I would but my taste for food change from the time I wake up til the time I get in the car to go home from work. So making a menu a week in advance is crazy talk. So on the drive home Keithon will ask what's for dinner and we go from there. One one drive home he said "mommy we haven't had lasagna in a while can you make that for dinner? I told him ok but it would have to be later in the week. That is the one dish vegan or not that cost a lot of money, has a ton of ingredients and has a lot of prep work. So I normally do that on the weekend when I can focus on the steps. But what Keithon wants Keithon gets so mama made lasagna. With a twist of course. In the past I would buy the family size pans of lasagna. I would fix Keithon's plate fix my dinner and put the rest in the microwave, to store. I would go back into the kitchen to clean up and just about the whole damn pan was gone. Keithon would sneak back in the kitchen and get more, a lot more.

 Since I was on to his little tricks of eating now when I make lasagna I use mini
loaf pans. I fixed that little sneak. He gets a loaf pan and the rest are frozen for future use. This is why my friends call me the vegan goddess. Since this is Keithon's dish I let him pick the filling. For this one he decided on mushrooms and spinach. (The kid eat spinach but not carrots. Go figure)

He also makes the ricotta. To do this he takes a block of extra firm tofu and breaks it up and adds salt and nooch, then places it in the fridge so the favors soak into the tofu while I make the sauce and boil the noodles. A few posts ago I veganized a lasagna from Wild Women In the Kitchen and saw that I could replace my canned pasta sauce using a can of crushed tomatoes, clove of garlic and olive oil. So much cheaper and a bit healthier. I haven't purchased a jar of tomato sauce since.

I have also gotten better with choosing which cheese works better for me. Most vegans thrive on Dayia but I am a Trader Joe's girl but sadly I can't just grab a bag of that all willie nillie so lately I have used Follow Your Heart. It melts better and I like the texture and the lack of oil Dayia leaves. Plus its just prettier. Yes my food has to be pretty or I don't want it.

After all of that was done. I layered it up and popped these little babies in the oven for about 30 minutes and dinner was done. I am now able to monitor Keithon's pasta intake as well as a have a few go tos in the freezer for when he has another lasagna attack and mama is on a tight budget that week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Temp Who?

 Being a new vegan there are a few proteins that you have to learn to work with or even learn to like. For me it was Tempeh. One, I had no clue what the hell Tempeh was or how to even how to work with this weird nugget block. I have tried it three times and all three times it was not my cup of tea so I did a little research. Thank God for Google. Once you learn what an ingredient is it is sooo much easier to figure out practical uses for it. Here is what I found out online.

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty.

Bingo I had and idea. I had a block of Tempeh in the fridge, I purchased when Whole Foods was closing. It cost like a buck so even if I couldn't figure out a decent recipe I didn't waste much money. If you have been reading my blog you know that my favorite type of food is Asian so of course I racked my brain to figure out an Asian application. Looking at this block of beige madness it kinda looked like chicken and the one dish I do miss the most is lettuce wraps and sadly tofu lettuce wraps just don't look pretty. So I decided to see how Tempeh would work out. Check out the recipe.

1 8-oz. pkg. plain tempeh, broken into chunks
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup lime juice
2 Tbs. chopped shallots
1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chile sauce, such as sriracha
¼ tsp. light brown sugar

Toppings and Wraps

1 cups bean sprouts
slivered almonds
fried wonton strips
1 large carrot, shredded
Fresh mint, cilantro, and basil
18 whole bib lettuce leaves

1. To make Sauce: whisk together all ingredients in small bowl.
2. To make Filling: Pulse tempeh in food processor until coarsely crumbled. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add tempeh and broth, cover, and cook 
5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 10 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.

BAM!  Lettuce wraps that look and taste like chicken. It was Tempeh success and a bit better for you that tofu. Keithon really enjoyed the whole building process because he was able to put what he wanted in the wrap even though I had to force a few more carrots into his wrap. Lately he has been on a no carrot kick.

 Because it was just the two of us and Tempeh is really filling I had a lot of my ground "chicken" left so I was able to make 2 more dished from it. Crazy I know. The filling stores pretty well and of course the longer it sits the better the taste and texture. So I used it to make a "chicken" and veggie soup as well as "chicken" pot stickers.

Now that I have a grasp on this whole Tempeh thing I'm sure I will discover a million other ways to transform this nugget block.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Don't Call It A Come Back

 I'm baaack! Hopefully I haven't lost too many readers during my blogging  break. The break was not an intentional one. I love to write and I love the comments I get even more. (Its the attention whore in me) But life kinda got in the way of my eating. I know that is a crazy statement but I am one extreme or the other. Either I am eating everything in sight or I am not eating at all and last Thursday I hit the food wall. I stopped eating. Then I realized if I don't eat I can't blog. ::face palm::  So the blogging stopped. Here is the last meal I ate Thursday night. I was feeling like a dude so I ordered the SOB (south of the border) burger and fries from Imagine because that's what dudes eat right?

Then my eating took a turn for the worse. I requested Valentine's day off because I work in an office full of broads and I didn't want to deal with the whole flower, candy and cards madness. My orginal plan was to deliver flowers and my homemade chocolates to 3 of my girls friends and come back home, make a bowl of ramen and play pinball. FOOD FAIL #1.
They all pushed me not to go back home and lay in the bed. So I decided to go shopping. Then I rememebered that I still needed to get part of Keithon's V-Day present. MONSTER JAM TICKETS!! We go every year and this year it happened to fall on Valentine's Day. The tickets online sucked so I decided to try my luck at the FedEx Forum.  Sadly they didn't open til 10 am so I had almost 45 minutes to burn so I walked across the street to Starbucks and ordered a Chocolate Chai Tea and sipped it.....slowly.

Once the tickets were obtained I took my girlfriends advice and went shopping. Plus no one ever said don't clothes shop on an empty stomach. So the hours rolled on and the lack of food continued. Once I picked Keithon up from school I decided I needed to eat. This was almost 4 in the afternoon mind you. So we headed to Pho Phoung Long and share and order of Spring Rolls and Tofu with Garlic Sauce.

Now the Fedex Fourm has a few vegan options and of course not the healthiest but hey what Keithon wants Keithon gets. Including $15 cotton candy. Yes my jaw dropped when the man told me the price but I told Keithon he could have it so I couldn't go back on my word. Since I knew it was the Monster Jam hat I was paying the money for I made him wear it. Yep, ask me if I care. My money my rules. 

Saturday morning Keithon's Grandma picked him up so I could have a some time to myself. So with Keithon being gone there was no need to cook so I didn't eat. I finally ate around 2ish at our monthly Food Awareness meeting and I was crazy hungry by that time. Our meeting was held at Pyro's which is a new pizza chain in Memphis. I'm not a pizza lover but I love the idea that I can get a pizza with exactly what I want on it without having to pay an arm and a leg. I even discovered a beer that I didn't turn my nose up at. 

Sunday I still didn't do any better. I had a breakfast date at a local coffee shop who's name I won't mention because they pissed me off. Normally when I go in since they don't have ANY completely vegan options there is one server who is cool enough to convince the kitchen to make me something. Yeah not Sunday. There were in pure asshole mode. So my pretty vegan self sat there and drink Chai Tea while my stomach was eating my shirt. I almost ran out of there so I could obtain food. 

After my date I stopped by Target to pick up something that I have been putting of waaay too long and of course I got side tracked but side tracked in a good way. I purchased cookware and not the cheapy store brand. Mama went for the good stuff and why not I deserve it plus now all my pots and pans are vegan! Meaning nothing that had a mama touched them!! Now that I have new cookware I am excited to cook and have been cooking and eating since Sunday afternoon so now I can get back to blogging. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Don't Wanna Grow UP

 All week I have been in a rush to get home, cook and blog. Why you ask because I brought myself a little present. I am truly a big kid at heart and Sunday I purchased my childhood dream toy. I have wanted one of these for YEARS and now I have one to call my own. What did I purchase you ask. Well I am now the owner of a Mr. & Mrs. Pacman Pinball Machine!!!  Yep in my newly redecorated living room is a full sized 1982 fully working pinball machine! This machine brings back the few good memories I had from childhood. Growing up we didn't have a washer or dyer so we had to go to the laundry mat and what do they have at laundry mats...Pinball machines. No one could beat me at pinball. I may have sucked at Nintendo but I was queen of the pinball world. I could make a quarter last FOREVER!! So last weekend while at a party with Nicole and a few other friends, the host had this beauty sitting in their living room. And Cassi being Cassi I asked if could buy it. Its a bad habit of mine, if I see it and I want I ask to buy it, its because I watched too much wrestling as a child and believed what the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase says "everyone has a price". Since I don't buy people this quote holds true for items for me. I saw it, I wanted it and so I asked for it. The only thing they could tell me was no right? Well lucky for me Michele and Greg were willing to part with it. I almost peed myself I was so excited!

Now my next task was to get this monster of a machine home. I'm sure I could have shoved it in my little truck but I did not want to risk tearing up the machine or my car. I then called a moving company. It was not very cost effective to use a mover. So my final option was to reach out to my male friends to help me. That's what friends are for right. Yeah that shit didn't work out either. I was determined to get this machine home!! So I reached out to my "family". All of my girlfriends have husbands or boyfriends so I called up Lisa and said "hey I need to borrow your husband" and sure as shit they met me at the house to get my baby and even brought help. This is why I love my girls. So I went to Home Depot and rented a truck so we could haul it home. I've driven my fair share of trucks and SUVs but this by far was the biggest truck I have been behind the wheel of. I loved driving this F250. If it weren't for the MPG I'd buy one. Here is my baby loaded on the truck.

Now of course the girl in me had to accessorize my new toy so when I saw these pj's at Target I threw them in my cart without looking at the price. They screamed Cassi!! 

Yep pink Pacman pj's, I can't wait until this weekend when the cold weather breaks and I can wear them without freezing my balls off. I love my new pinball machine and play it every night, yes it still runs by quarters so I have to pace myself until Friday. The only thing I need now is a Pacman key chain for the keys to the machine. Now please excuse me while I go play a little pinball. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Curry That Won't Kill You

  Normally I read Bianca's blog post the night she post but last night I fell asleep before she made her post so I checked it out while at work today. If you haven't checked it out please do, bless her little vegan heart when I read it instead of posting a comment I had to send her a text. Read about here curry adventure here. Reading her about her curry adventures inspired me to whip up a serving of curry for dinner tonight.

  I can cook a lot of dishes but Indian food is the one  I can not quite get figure out. I can follow a recipe to the letter but there is always something missing so I just slap some soy sauce on it and call it a day. Soy sauce makes everything better in my world. There is one Indian dish I make but it took me years to master. I make it when I am too cheap to go to and get real Indian. There are a million versions of curry but this is the one that works for me. My old recipe called for fish sauce but of course that is a vegan no no. Lucky for me the Viet Hoa has a vegan fish sauce that I can sub out.

Now I love spicy foods, the spicier the better but I don't like it to the point where I can't taste the food. That much spice is pointless to me. So what I learned about curry is to constantly taste it while it is cooking because the heat of curry seems to build the longer it cooks. The other trick I have learned about curry is that if you miss the level of spice you want the way to bring it down and balance it back out is sugar. It knocks a bit of the heat out with out killing the other flavors. 

Chicken Curry 
    1 tbsp curry powder
    1 tbsp flour
    1 tbsp vegan butter
    1 can coconut milk
    1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
    1 tbsp fresh or dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1 tbsp cilantro
    2 hand fulls fresh green beans
    2 cups mock chicken (cut into chunks)
    pinch of sugar 

 Cook mock chicken according to the package and set aside
In a deep skillet combine flour and butter until melted on low heat.
Stir in curry powder and cumin until combined
Slowly pour in coconut milk and stir using a fork to break up any clumps. 
While the sauce is simmer add in fish sauce, basil and cilantro. 
 After about 5 minutes start tasting the sauce. If its too spicy add just a pinch of sugar stir wait about 2 minutes then taste. If not spicy enough add a bit more curry or crushed red pepper. Let simmer about 5 more minutes and taste again. Adjust to what makes you happy. 
Finally add in fresh green beans and chicken.
Let simmer for about 5 more minutes and serve over your favorite rice.

 Normally I would serve curry over Jasmine Rice but I didn't have any so I opted for brown rice. I am slowly changing over from white to brown because brown is so much better for you. I just hate that it takes forever to cook. 

Curry is a tricky beast but if you have nothing to lose go for it and remember if all else fails add soy sauce. Its like glitter of the food world. It fixes everything. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

All My Daily Calories In One Meal

 On normal days I don't have a problem getting in all of my calories for the day but today was a super busy day and I just plum forgot to eat. Crazy I know, how do you forget to eat but with me it happens more days than I'd like to admit. No I don't go around starving myself but if I don't eat before I get super busy my body goes into camel mode and I don't realize that I'm hungry until I sit down and my tummy growls. Today was one of those days were food and I were not friends. Once I realized this I decided to calorie load, so off to Sekisui Midtown Keithon and I went.

  Before I became vegan we spent more than a few Friday night dinners here because sushi was one of my favorite foods. There are still a few items we can order from the menu but its kinda limited so we don't visit as much. It is still crazy cold here so instead something cold to drink I decided to get a green tea. They have changed the serving size of the green tea it is huge now.

The best thing about Sekisui is the Ginger Dressing. I have been going to Sekisui since I was in high school and the recipe has not changed at all.  When I was pregnant I would order it but the cup fulls and put it on everything and I also helped the few times my tummy was upset.  Their house salad is pretty basic but with this amazing dressing you won't miss all the normal salad  fixings.

Now the fastest way to pack on the calories is to go heavy on the starches and anything deep fried will do it. So after our salads I ordered the al la carte Tempura. You have to be careful with Tempura because some Tempura is made with eggs but this batter is a made of  flour, baking soda and seltzer water. For our tempura I ordered the tofu, broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus. We couldn't use the sauce they gave us because it was made with fish. 

Just because you are vegan it doesn't mean you can't have sushi and Sekisui has a great selection to chose from. We had the pickled cucumber, avocado and the vegetable roll. On the vegetable roll I asked them to sprinkle cayenne pepper on top to add a little spice to it. 


Everytime we get sushi for dinner we always have to get ice cream for dessert and lucky for us TCBY now carries Silk Soft Serve. During the summer they introduced the chocolate verison and recently the vanilla almond was introduced. I'm still partica to the chocolate because I'm a choclate lover but the vanilla is not too bad. The flavor is a nice vanilla with a hint of almond  not to bad. Keithon added sprinkles to his while I went for Oreos. 

I'm sure that I am a few calories short from my daily intake but hey I can stand to short myself a few calories since my workout routine has been non existent for quite awhile now. Now please excuse me while I play with my new gift to myself. I'll post about my gift later this week.  

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Testing My Veganism

 Last weekend I thought that I was done with birthday shindigs for a minute but its seems that Wednesday night I had one more left in me. Another friend had a birthday and I found out that he didn't have any plans for his birthday and you know my rule: No one should be unhappy on their birthday. So I asked if he would like to go out. The first task I had to conquer was a sitter. Finding a sitter is a very hard task as a single parent but lucky for me I have a great friend that watched my child as well as his. ( thanks Aisha) Now that I had the children settled I had to work on a plan as to what to do on a Wednesday night.

  I decided to stay in my comfort zone and go someplace where I would not look like the weird vegan asking a million questions about the menu. So off to GreenCork we went. I called the day before to make sure they were able to veganize what I think is their signature item and lucky for me they were. When I first saw the picnic basket I knew that I had to have this. He is an omni but I don't hold that against him but mama has to eat as well so being able to include things that I could eat as well is great. My side of the basket was filled with lots of raw veggies, fresh and dried fruit, olives, figs and I even had stuffed grape leaves. There were a ton of things to nosh on, so much that we weren't able to finish the basket.

My favorite thing about Greencork is of course the way the wine is served and as the seasons change so does the wine selection. I am the weirdest wine drinking in the world. I have never picked a wine by the notes that it has or any of that madness, I always pick it by the bottle. Crazy I know but it has yet to fail me. Sadly with the changing of the wine selections my 19 Crimes wine was out of rotation. It made me a little sad but I have discovered another wine that ranks right out there on my list of favorites. Its called Flirt. I love that there motto is Cheat on Your Wine and yes I cheated on Chuck but hey its ok. Its a new year time to try new things. Plus I will always go back to 2 Buck Chuck. Flirt is a blend of Shirah and Zinfandel so it is slightly sweet with a nice bite at the end. Plus the bottle is kinda sexy. What's not to like about this wine?

We had great wine and nice food the evening was going well, then it took a turn for the worst. They brought out cake. Not just any cake chocolate cake. Mama loves chocolate cake but of course this cake was not vegan, yet there were two spoons on the plate.  Of course being the gentlemen that he is he offered me the cake and I politely told him thank you but I can't eat it, its not vegan. He of course understood and said ok but then he decided to test  my vegan pimpin. He said if you don't eat the cake I'll consider this a date.  Crap I was screwed. Cassi does not date, dating scares the shit out of me so I avoid it all possible cost. Too much work goes into it. I have to be "on" at all times, making sure I don't say anything stupid, trip over anything, making sure I put on the good bra. Its too much work and I will have no such parts of it!  So I had to make a choice eat the cake or have the evening considered a date. Minus the wine this may not have been a hard descison to make but I was about 3 glasses in. I picked the spoon up a few times but could not bring myself to eat unborn chicken fetus and morphine filled cow pus. ( that's what I call eggs and milk to keep myself in line) So I had to take one of the team. I was on a date....crap. Now before you go after him, he knew I was NOT going to eat the cake.  It was his way of letting me know he was into me. It was a corny move but cute at the same time. 

Since he was able to have cake hell I wanted cake too so we strolled down to Imagine Vegan Cafe where I snagged a orange "hostess" cupcake. It was not chocolate but it was sugar. 

All in all it was a nice date. ( i'm sure he will giggle if he reads this) My veganism was still  safe, I discovered a new wine and even got a cupcake.  What more could a girl ask for from a night that went from hanging out to being on a date?

Friday, February 07, 2014


Today the rug has been pulled from underneath me but I know I can't let  too many days go without posting. So here are a few pics I found online. Now please excuse me while I go back into my fort.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Thursday Night Noodles

Before I start I first want to say THANK YOU to everyone that reads, comments, shares and enjoys my blog. Being a new blogger the whole thing is scary and nerve racking. Will people like it, will they comment, did I use the sentence structure? All of these things go through my head after I hit the "Publish" button. This is a journey for me and I am so happy others are along for the ride.
Enough of the mushy girly stuff. ON TO THE FOOD! For those of you that read my blog often you may notice that I don't post on Thursday. The reason for this is because I am off "mommy duty". My son stays the night with his grandma so I can have at least one day of during the week. When he is gone I don't see a reason to cook big a meal so for the past few years I eat the same two things. Noodles and Spring Rolls mainly because they are fast, cheap and lo calorie. Now before anyone gets up in arms, no I am not living off of the Top Ramen you get for 10 cents at Kroger and Keithon has never had a bowl of it. The Oriental is vegan so I've been told but I've never tried it.
  My favorite "go to" Ramen is at the Viet Hoa called Mama. ( I love the name it fits me so well) Mama does have her flaws, aside from being processed and the one I can't get around, the MSG. It is in every processed foods but I don't eat like this everyday so I give myself a small pass on it. When people think Ramen they think noodles and a salty broth. Not Mama Noodles and not when I cook them! There are two and sometimes three seasoning packets with Mama Noodles. One packet is the spices, the other is the chili packet which I love because I love my noodles spicy and the final packet is the oil.
When I make ramen I diva it up, while the water boiling I add lemongrass and tomatoes and let them cook. I also add 5 cups of water instead of the 3 it calls for. Yes I measure water to cook ramen. Its my OCD I can't help it.  Meanwhile in my Ramen Bowl (yes I have a bowl that is just for my Ramen, it just taste better in the proper bowl) I add whatever veggies I have in the fridge, mushrooms, broccoli, bean sprouts, celery, carrots plus whatever fresh herb I have sometimes basil but mostly cilantro. I leave my veggies raw and allow them to "cook" from the broth. Hey, I'm eating one of the most processed foods so I try to get my nutrients from my raw veggies.
  My Thursday night routine is I walk my dog, put on my pj's, make my noodles and sit on my ass and watch The Big Bang Theory. It's my time just to just be and Cassi is a pj wearing, noodle eatin, Big Bang Theory watchin kinda girl. Now not all Mama noodles are vegan so make sure you flip the package over and read to make sure it doesn't have shellfish in it but most of them are. I've tried other ramen that I just don't care for but if you have a tried and true Ramen let me know what it is so I can hunt it down.