Sunday, September 29, 2013

DCVegfest, 2013, and vegan sundries

On Saturday, Rob, Copper, and I went to the DCVegfest. This yearly event brings together vegans, vegetarians, and veg-friendly folks. This year's event was more popular than ever! Rob and I spent the first few hours walking around, and then volunteered with VSDC,  a local non-profit.

Copper was great, and everyone loved her! She really loved the Max & Ruffy tent, where she got to sample tasty, organic, vegan treats!

Rob and I both wore our favorite vegan shirts,and got our pictures taken by the organizer of Vegan Tshirt day (the first Saturday of each month).

Saturday evening, we visited Paula, Rob's mom.  We took her to lunch on Sunday at Yuan Fu in Rockville, a totally vegan restaurant.

I started with Miso, while Rob and Paula had hot and sour soup. We also got some Crispy Taro Root balls to share.

I ordered a pumpkin, seitan chicken, and mushroom hot pot.

Paula ordered triple delight Kung pao seitan.

And Rob ordered seitan with vegetables (super spicy!)

On the way home, we stopped at Everlasting Life Cafe for some vegan Mac and cheese and fresh beet juice.

All in all, a successful weekend! I even got some cuddle time in with Paula's pup, Henry...

Reading, eating, running week plan, September 30- October 6

We had a great time at the DCVegfest, and a lovely visit with Rob's mom, Paula. Now I am really looking forward to the Acorns A go-go vegan festival in Greenbelt in a few weeks! I've got a race this week (#14 of the year, I think!) the Children's Hospital 5k. I signed up for this one with some walker friends, and as I have a long run on Friday, and Rob is also signed up (he hasn't been training as much as he has wanted), I don't know if I will run or walk this one.

Run 3.5 miles
New & original recipe, acorn squash soup with cashew milk!

Run 2 miles, gym with Mia
upton's chorizo seitan baked tacos (

Run 4 miles
Mac & not cheese...

Run 2 miles, gym with Mia
Choir rehearsal, leftovers

Run 8+ miles
Happy Herbivore Cheater Pad Thai

Children's Hospital 5k, DC
Octoberfest 11th Street Festival 
This happens to be just a few blocks from one of my favorite Vegan eateries in DC Sticky Fingers!

Rest day
Vegetable soup

I haven't been reading as much as I would like, so I am re-reading John Irving's The world according to Garp, because that always seems to get me back into loving books. I have recently purchased some books I am looking forward to reading, including Shirley Jackson's The haunting of Hill House, a great scary book to read when the weather starts getting chilly!

Friday, September 27, 2013

River's Edge Restaurant

Who knew? They made me a beautiful vegan dinner at Rob's Awards dinner!
It is not difficult to vegan is something, although some places do it better than others. One local restaurant always impresses, while another generally disappoints. You just have to ask, and find out what you like.
In my experience, the more notice you can give the kitchen, the better. Rob contacted this place a few weeks ago. The rest of the people got a buffet dinner, but they brought my plate out just as my table was called. Classy. Thank you, River's Edge!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ocean City

 We spent the weekend in Ocean City.  OC is a very dear place to us, as we got married there, on the beach at 10th St.  We've tried to go at least once a summer since.  Mia got to join us this year, and we had a blast!  We started out the weekend by stopping in to Pepper's Tavern on the Boardwalk.  They serve VERY spicy wings- and Rob wanted to see if he could meet that challenge.  He and my brothers each ate a few in 2011. This year he ate 6, and signed his name for a second time on the wall.  (This is the prize for eating more than 3).  There isn't too much on the menu at Pepper's for me to eat, although the last time we were here the cook made me a GREAT vegan taco salad.
 Mia and I weren't too hungry, so we shared a side of fries- Mia got a bowl of some hot garlic sauce to dip hers in- but it had butter, so I made my own hot sauce by mixing several salsas.
The bloody marys at Pepper's are great- because they have a fixings bar where you make it yourself.  They had an organic vegan bloody mary mix, to which I added garlic and horseradish, olives, and celery.
Rob signed his name next to his last signature.  The food was so spicy, he acted a little goofy for the next few hours.
 Not quite a full moon, but a beautiful one!
 We love to play skee-ball on the boardwalk, and there is a spot to play very near to our hotel.
 There's a haunted ride at the South end of the boardwalk which we rode, and shrieked on!  It's not scary at all, but quaint.
 Now, about the food:
Saturday morning, after my long run (7.35 miles!!) I was HUNGRY!  First we went by My Nature, a new, vegan, raw food deli where we got smoothies to drink.  Then we stopped at Malia's Cafe, where they had vegan gluten-free waffles!  Wow!
 These were GREAT, and we decided to return to Malia's again for lunch.  They have a number of options on their lunch menu which are vegan or can easily be made so.  Unfortunately, they closed at 2 on Sunday, and we missed lunch there.    We ate instead at the Greenhouse Deli, which had meat, veg, and vegan options for all of us!
 It's not difficult to veganize regular menu items. At Guido's Burrito, I was able to custom order a vegan burrito with no issues.  Most cooks are willing to accommodate, and restaurants generally make nutritional information pretty easy to find or ask for.
 While we didn't eat at Pizza Boy's this year (We generally do- and the owners, George and his son, Rob are super nice about making vegan pizzas for me) we did spend a little time on their porch, because that is the best dolphin spotting location on the whole Boardwalk.

 Sunday morning, Mia had a smoothie and Rob and I had bloody marys on the south end of the boardwalk after our run (2.7 miles for me).  Lots of walking this weekend!

 Trimper's Amusements is located at the south end of the boardwalk, and we finished out our weekend by exploring the Pirate's cove, and playing at the shooting gallery, where we discovered a neat trick about cameras and the light-sensitive targets.

Eggplant Parmesean

Mia requested Eggplant Parmesean for dinner.  I baked the eggplant following the recipe I posted last month here, except using organic bread crumbs from MOM's instead of Panko.  I also used the marinara sauce I canned on Monday, sprinkled with a little daiya cheese.
For the side, I made some broccolini, first steaming it lightly, then adding some basil.

Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

Here's how I am making my soup tonight... (adapted from

Tomatoes, lots of them.  I am using roma tomatoes, and filled a cake pan with them.
Garlic, lots of it.  I used 6-7 cloves, but may use more next time.
4 c. vegetable broth
Kosher Salt
Italian Olive Oil (it's flavored with Basil and Rosemary and the like.)
Black Pepper to taste

4 c. Almond Milk

Preheat oven to 375°F. Put a little oil in the bottom, add the tomatoes in a roasting pan roll them a bit in the oil, then top with salt.  Bake for approximately one hour.

Roast the peeled cloves of garlic in a soup pot with some olive oil.  Then add the tomatoes (juice and all) and vegetable broth, and simmer for about twenty minutes.  You may want to blend the tomatoes first- I put about half of them in the blender, so it was a little chunky.  After 20 min, add the milk.  Simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Serve and top with some fresh ground black pepper.

I also served this with some toasted rolls topped with Daiya cheese I put in the still-warm oven.

I had more tomatoes, so I made some marinara sauce: (Loosely based off of the Vegan Stoner recipe)

 6-7 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 bunch celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
6-7 baby carrots, chopped (big carrots would work, too- but this is what I had)
4 cloves garlic, chopped

All of this went in a big pot and simmered quite some time.

I then canned the sauce, and my leftover soup- Yum!
The sauce came out a little chunky, so when I used it the next day, I threw it in the blender, and it smoothed right out.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Running, Eating, Reading plan September 23-29

We had the loveliest weekend in Ocean City! It's hard to wake up this morning and plan for the week!

Rest day. I put a lot of miles on this weekend, so no running today, although I will take the dogs for a walk at lunchtime.
Dinner is tomato bisque soup I will make from scratch. I have a bunch of lovely organic Roma tomatoes I need to use.

Short run, 1-2 miles. Gym cross train with Mia.
Mia has requested eggplant Parmesan for dinner. I will bake the eggplant instead of frying it, like I do for my sandwiches!

Run 4 miles.
I am craving falafels.  Gotta remember to save a tomato or two. I will put these on pita bread with arugula and make some garlic tahini dressing.

Short run, 1-2 miles. Gym cross train with Mia.
Choir night. Leftovers all around.

Long run, 7.5 miles.
Rob has a service award dinner, so I will see what I can do there. Eating out at restaurants can be difficult, but catered events can sometimes be downright impossible. I will pack a snack in my purse!

DC VEGFEST! Are you going? You should! Rob and I are volunteers for the late afternoon shift. This is always a great event, with lovely food. If you're in the DMV area, please check out for details!

Rob and I are going to visit his mom, Paula. We'll likely watch some football, so maybe I will pick up something to make. Also, I'm thinking of bringing Copper, if I do, I'll take her on a little run.  Sometime this week I will make and freeze a black bean sweet potato casserole for when we get back.

I'm currently reading The Likeness, by Tana French. Also listening to The Ocean at the end of the Lane. Will read next Neil Gaiman's Fortunately the Milk, then Seth Grahme-Smith's Unholy Night.
Rob has been on a reading kick, too! He's currently reading Stephen King's Salem's Lot.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Journey of a thousand miles...

Begins with one step.
I just realized I missed my runniversary!
I looked back in my records, and I started running on September 10, 2012.  Today is September 16, 2013. I've been running for a year!
I'm slow, but I'm out there.
I do feel a huge change in myself.  I've logged over 800 miles since I started last year.  Not too shabby!
Makes me feel a little like...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

#veganmofo week plan September 15

Oh, thank goodness it is fall-like weather this week. I just can't eat soups and such when it's warm out. This chilly weather has me craving CHILLI, which I will make a big pot of on Monday and likely reheat for lunches all week.

I guess I am on a Sarah Kramer (#govegandotnet) kick this week, three recipes are hers.

Rest day
Late afternoon baked potatoes
Baseball game in the evening

Run 3 miles
Cross train class at noon
Dinner is chilli and cornbread muffins. Will likely crock pot this.

Run 2 miles
Gym/yoga class with Mia
Dinner is ginger seitan.

Run 4 miles
Cross train class at noon
Dinner is black bean and sweet potato burritos.

Run 2 miles
Gym with Mia
Choir rehearsal, so dinner on the go is tempeh "chikn" salad. Last week I didn't eat prior to rehearsal, and my belly was GRUMBLING!

We are headed up to Ocean City next weekend, so I will do my long run Saturday. 7 miles on the boardwalk! It looks like it will warm up by the weekend. A new vegan restaurant, My Nature, opened up there this past spring, which I am anxious to try.

Currently reading Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King, and The Likeness by Tana French.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How did mothers ever express their love before selfies?

18 years ago, tomorrow, I gave birth to my incredible daughter, Mia.
I have so much to be thankful for, but most of all, I am really fortunate that she is in my life. Not only is she a beautiful young woman, but she is also wicked smart, friendly, confident, talented, and kind.
We always find fun and laughter!
Happy birthday, my girl.

Friday, September 6, 2013

#veganmofo week of September 8

This last week was the first week of classes, so I admit, I didn't adhere well to my plan from last week.
Here is an adjustment, and next week's plan.
I already have the ingredients to many recipes I planned for last week. Also have to plan for some celebrations this week. Both Mia and Rob have birthdays!

Friday 9/6:
Rest day. I worked my body too hard this past week and this is well deserved!
Watermelon and veggie burgers on the grill

Saturday 9/7:
Ren Faire
Lots of walking
I'll likely get falafels- yum!

Sunday 9/8:
Eggplant ciabatta sandwiches

Monday 9/9:
Mia's birthday!
3.5 miles
Sexy vegan Eggplant salad

Tuesday 9/10:
Tattoo time
Out for sushi to celebrate Mia's birthday
2 miles

Wednesday 9/11:
4.5 miles
Happy Herbivoire Vegan Crab cake sandwiches

Thursday 9/12:
2 miles
Strength training
Vegan chickn salad
Choir rehearsal

Friday 9/13:
2 miles
Happy Herbivoire tempeh Chili Mac

Saturday 9/14:
Rob's birthday!
Race: Navy Air force 5 miler
Out to celebrate Rob's birthday

Currently re-reading the newcomers guide to the afterlife, and some Ray Bradbury.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

#veganmofo dinner: baked potato, quiche, broccoli & corn

Something about going back to school makes me crave comfort fall foods. Here, I topped my baked potato with spinach tofu quiche, broccoli, and a sprinkle of daiya mozzarella vegan cheese. 

The recipe for the quiche is simple, and can be found at

A side of corn on the cob nods to summer, this frsh, sweet stuff won't be around much longer!

#veganmofo a month of vegan blogging

I'm going to try to blog often about vegan things, and so are other bloggers. Check out the hash tag...
Anyway, here's what is planned for the week. Classes started today, so I need to be better about planning wisely.

Monday: yeah, yeah, this was yesterday
Walk 13+ miles on IHRT
Baked BBQ Tofu and veggies

Cross train & weights
Baked potatoes and spinach tofu quiche

Run 4 miles
Tofu crab cake sandwiches with eggplant salad

Run 2 miles
Cross train & weights
Choir practice, plus two tutoring sessions, so dinner is leftovers on Thursdays from now on!

Run 7 miles
Eggplant ciabatta sandwiches with watermelon

Rest day 
Veggie burgers & corn

Ren Faire

Currently reading Illustrated Man, The Long Walk, A walk in the Woods, and Failing at Fairness.