Monday, December 9, 2013

We're feeling a bit under the weather. My "magic" Chinese tea cures all ills.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our view of If/Then!

Idina, here we come!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Revamp

Darrell and Stephen Christmas 2012Hi everyone! The other day I posted some very yummy looking teaser pictures of an amazing baked ziti dish that my partner Darrell made us for dinner with the promise of “more to come.” Before I post my reconstruction of that recipe, I want to give you guys a few guidelines on what it means for us to be vegan. We’re gluten-free vegans partly because we have to be due to food allergies and medical reasons, and partly because we choose to be. A lot of vegans will try to beat you over the head with their ideals and will try to shove a whole lot of things that you would never want to eat down your throat in the name of health. That’s not us, and that’s why I’m writing this blog. We love food. We love flavor.

What does this mean for you, the reader? The recipes I post are of our successes (and sometimes total failures) of trials-and-errors, altered or adapted recipes, or even re-posts of delicious recipes that we’ve found that fit into our niche dietary requirements. I think you’ll enjoy seeing what we’ve got to offer!
Sure, we eat salad and green leafy vegetables and stuff, but we eat a lot of other really delicious things, too! We’ve found a lot of great international cuisine that we would have never looked twice at before, that we absolutely love!

And we’re going to share all of our findings with you over the course of this blog, so be sure to check back often, follow me here, on Twitter (@Zephyr757), on Instagram (@Zephyr757) by clicking one of convenient the links on the left!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Random thoughts on being vegan

About a month and a half ago, Darrell and I became gluten free vegans. Full-on, no-holds-barred vegan. Before you get all judgy, let me explain. We found out in May that Darrell has several food allergies (eggs, milk, wheat and rye) that cause him not to be able to swallow properly, so we gave up all of those things cold turkey. This sudden dietary shock led to other problems in his body that took us down the path to eliminate all meats other than chicken. Believe it or not, when you can only eat chicken it gets old really fast! After some soul searching, we decided it was easiest for us to just give up animal protein altogether. We’ve never felt healthier for it, either!

Adjusting to being a new vegan has had its struggles, though. You never realize where milk, wheat and eggs hide in your foods. Trust me, it’s in EVERYTHING. Check your labels. I dare you!

Also, when we “come out of the closet” (I do this on a regular basis anyway, so I’m not new to the concept, but now I have to do it for something else…sigh) about being vegan, you’d be surprised at how people react. People really are defined by their food, and that’s unfortunate. I’m told so many times “I can’t live without my meat,” or “that can’t be healthy, don’t you need protein,” or “I don’t see how you do that, I’d be starving all the time.” Truth is, I don’t miss meat at all. I miss other things. Like creamy decadent desserts. Sure, I can substitute other things to make something similar, but I haven’t found anything that’s as lush as full fat cream. I know, though, that if I eat it, I’d be sick for at least two days, and that’s not worth it! So I’d rather be healthy and sacrifice that deliciousness for something else that’s much healthier for me and the Earth. Besides, I’m sure my body will thank me for it later! People think I’ll judge them for eating meat or other things. I tell them: I don’t care what you eat! You’re not hurting my body! You’re only hurting yourself, who am I to judge? It does makes me sad when I see people I love mistreat themselves with food, but they have to find their own way.

Now, on to the whole reason I’m writing this post (I know at this point you’re thinking this was a whole “coming out” post – you’re wrong!). The other day I was feeling pretty bad. When I don’t feel well, my go to meal is mashed potatoes and gravy. Guess how those are traditionally made? LOTS of things that I don’t eat anymore! I immediately thought “damn, what am I going to do?” I went into problem solving mode. We already had solved the mashed potatoes issue. We eat those regularly. We use Idahoan brand instant. I know, it’s not the same as fresh, but ain’t nobody got time for that. The ingredients are: Idaho potatoes with emulicifier, preservatives, and citric acid. Not too bad. I make them with Earth Balance soy free buttery spread and unsweetened almond milk. Tastes just like they were made with butter and regular milk. Now I was more distraught about the whole gravy thing. I had no idea how I was going to do that. I really wanted some chicken gravy. I thought, “OK, I know how to make white gravy, but I don’t want that. Let’s improvise and see what happens.” It was AMAZING! This is what I did: 1 tsp Earth Balance, 1 tsp rice flour and 1 (ish) cup of vegetable stock. I put the rice flour and the butter into a sauce pan and cooked them for a bit until they were starting to “toast” once this happened, I SLOWLY added the stock and whisked my heart out to try to eliminate lumps (it didn’t work, BTW). It got thick immediately, and LOOKED like chicken gravy. I added some pepper because I like it like that. I tasted it, and it was just like chicken gravy from KFC or anywhere else. I was amazed it was this easy, and still vegan! I proceeded to pour it onto my instant potatoes and ran back to the couch.

By the way, I’ve lost about 7 or so pounds so far. Not a ton, but it’s a start!

Moral of this whole narrative is: you can still eat your usual things with a few modifications and be vegan AND gluten free!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Random Thoughts on Our Big Trip Across The Pond

So we’ve less than a week to go and I’ll be in the UK. I’m so excited I could spit! Well, not really spit, but – I’m sure you get it! We’ve gotten everything we need for our one week stay (I hope). We have plug adapters for our electronics we’re taking. As it turns out everything that’s going with us is dual voltage, so we don’t need any actual voltage converters, so YAY! (Sidebar, I’m hearing Miranda’s voice in my head whilst I’m writing this, so please bear with me if this post is a bit… well, off.) We have an unlocked GSM phone we’re taking, and I’ve found an app called Talktone that uses Google Voice over Wi-Fi so we can call the US for free. We’re taking our Nexus 10 tablets and our Verizon Galaxy Nexuses as well. No laptops, we don’t think we’ll need them. Oh, and of course I’m taking my Canon EOS Rebel T2i! 

Now, in my last post I said that I would let you know what we had on our itinerary. Well here it is (everything is a hyperlink to tell you more about it, and I think I’ve gotten everything):

As you can see, we have a busy, fun-filled week ahead of us! In case anyone was wondering, we’re travelling British Airways TO London, and American Airlines on the way home! That was an accident, but I thought it was funny! Also, we scored a 4-star room at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum on Priceline for $100 a night! This is why we ALWAYS use Priceline to get our hotel rooms! (Maybe I should look into becoming an affiliate?) By the way, there are a ton of hyperlinks in this post. Hover over things to learn more about them!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Random Thoughts on Prepping for London

With less than a month to go, our dream vacation is fast approaching, and I'm excited... and nervous. We're going to London for a week. Lots on the agenda - we have tours, day trips, pretty much any touristy thing you can think of. I'm even going to get to see Stonehenge! Most of the people from the UK that I know haven't seen it, but I'll be able to put that notch in my belt. Thing is, I've never flown over the ocean, so that's making me nervous, and I'm scared to death I'm going to forget something important on another continent. That sentence blows my mind, even! I'm going to be on another continent! I'll write more later on what's going on, and the tours and stuff. We've been planning this for months. Ta for now!