Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feeding Children Vegan for a Week

I can't believe I have been able to feed my kids vegan for three entire days! The biggest surprised is they haven't ask for their beloved cheese. Huge bonus: I'm loving the fact I now only have to make one lunch. They've been great eaters these last couple days, here is what's been cooking in our kitchen:

 Day 2

Lunch: Gardein Crispy Tenders, quinoa and pears. 

I love this meal, because it takes zero work, and it includes a super grain! This is one of Monique's favorite meals as well. Thérèse isn't too big on quinoa, but with ketchup, she says it doesn't taste bad.

Dinner:  Udon noodles with shredded zuccini and carrots with steamed broccoli. 

Sorry! No picture for this one. I whipped this dinner up, threw everyone's shoes on and ran out the door for our evening walk. Then I totally forgot. Whoops! You can check out a past blog post about his meal here.

Day 3

Lunch: Hiziki Croquettes with millet, carrot, scallions, tahini and garbanzo beans. 

This is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Family Meals. It's actually supposed to be a part of a salad, but the croquettes are so strong, I often serve them on their own. This dish is calcium overload. While whole milk contains 118 milligrams of calcium per serving, but chickpeas have 150, sesame seeds 1,160 and hijiki 1,400! Step aside, milk. Hijiki, a sea vegetable is pricey, but it's totally worth it because it lasts forever. Thankfully, Monique loves this dish and once again, Thérèse thinks it's great with ketchup. I'm telling you, kids appreciate basic flavors. It reminds me of surf and turf. Love that.

 Dinner: Fidello with peas and carrots, beans and steamed broccoli. 

As a kid, fidello was my all time favorite. Who doesn't love carbs? My bizarre children aren't crazy about it though. Don't ask me why. They did ask for two servings of my beans though. Apparently I make boss beans. I guess I'm going to have to make more since they are such a hit.

Broccoli still steaming when I took this picture.

 My kids eat oatmeal with raisins and banana for breakfast every morning. Thérèse cannot live without her morning oatmeal. It was the only thing I craved when I was pregnant with her, which is strange, because I hate oatmeal.

This morning I decided we had an awesome three days and it was time for a treat. Thérèse and I mixed up these vegan, gluten and sugar free waffles. They are the best waffles. Period. We ate them with juicy farmers market peaches. You can get the recipe here.

Are there any vegan dishes your kids love?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cutting the Cheese

Somehow dairy has made it into my body. I'm not sure how since I know if flares up my eczema, makes my head stuffy, my emotions moody and my sleep less sound. So I wouldn't consciously consume it. But somehow it's come in, and I want my buoyant energy back.

Two out of three of the girls' meals are vegan. They really only eat cheese, but making their grilled cheese for lunch is such a temptation, I decided I needed to cut all contact with cheese and make all their meals vegan. At least for a couple days. I figured it would do them more good than harm. But would I be able to feed them vegan meals without only making PBJ's? It's turned into a challenge, to see how long I can go without feeding them their typical quesadilla, grilled cheese or mac and cheese lunches.

Here is what they ate for the first day of their no cheese diet:

Yesterday we went to their library class. It's awesome. They do all kinds of dancing and singing and then they let the kids loose in a room filled with toys and puzzles. I love that the library provides this resource. Afterwards, we went to the park for a picnic. Thérèse knows if we have a picnic she gets a juice box, which makes her excited about life.

Lunch was a burrito: frijoles con papas. Boiled potatoes, salted and mashed in extra virgin olive oil with lightly fried and mashed beans rolled into a tortilla. I used canned because I didn't have any made. Not ideal but certainly practical. Avocado would be a delicious addition to this burrito.

Snack: Popcorn and pears.

Dinner: Fried rice and broccoli. I almost had a melt down because I ran out of soy sauce. Soy sauce is essential to fried rice. Plus my kids love it. They will eat anything if it is smothered and cooked in soy sauce. It is the equivalent to ketchup in this house. Thankfully, they ate this dinner right up. I did have to bribe them with vegan ice cream sandwiches, but still, they didn't complain about eating this. Simple flavors go a long way with kids. 

Fried Rice: Sauté one leek, two garlic, add one zucchini, one small carrot, all finely diced. After veggies slightly brown, stirred in three cups leftover brown rice, two teaspoons soy sauce and add half a package of crumbled firm tofu. Serve with steamed broccoli.

Basic flavors go a long way with kids. And my husband enjoyed it too, so win/win. Don't ask why the baby stroller is on the kitchen chair. Thérèse said she put it their on purpose. Okay....

I know you all woke up this morning and thought, "I want to know what Arisa's kid look like messy and preoccupied with vegan ice cream sandwiches and a grain of rice stuck to her chin." Well here you are. My kids eat a lot of veggies. We need an incentive they love and that doesn't destroy all the good the veggies did. 

I will be updating our adventures in Cheeseless Children. I can't make promises in how often. I started this post at eight this morning and it's almost eight in the evening now. There are a few distractions around here...

Monique just fell. I gasped and laughed at the same time. I didn't know I could do that. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Soup's Up!

Hey Y'all!

So I know I popped up, "Hey! I'm back!" and then, "Just kidding...Not back..." So this is the deal. My MacBook is dead. We are on a super tight budget so waiting to get it revived. But the main reason I'm often unable to blog, is because Daniel is working a full time job, part time job and attending graduate classes full time. Whew! I got winded just saying that. So I'm home alone with the girls all day everyday. We get Daniel Wednesday evening and night and all of Sunday. That's it! We miss him. Today's Wednesday so he's home! WooHoo! He's been swamped with finals. Today he came home from work, got the girls involved in playing an educational game on their own, helped with dinner, burped the baby and said, "What do you need me to do?" But I didn't hear him. All I heard was a symphony. I have the best husband.

On another note, being alone with three girls three and under all the time has made me incredibly strong. I can hold a 15 pound baby, squat and brush a kid's teeth all at once. Don't I get some sort of badge for that? No? Okay. I guess I'll settle for semi-strong legs and a clean set of toddler's teeth.

I've been spending the last ten days trying to get my toddler to stop sucking her thumb 24/7. Have you ever spent time with an addict being forced to get over a major addiction? Draining....Get the thumb out get the thumb out get the thumb out. The way she reacts to this request would make a person passing by believe there was some sort of real torture involved. No, no torture. Just fighting addictions. I can joke about addiction because I have an addictive personality. I hold a record for completing all seasons of Prison Break in record time. Hello, how is it possible to stop looking at Wentworth Miller once one has seen his face? Too bad the poor kid can't act. He'd be unstoppable.

So why am I blogging today? Oh, why to share one of my favorite soups of course! Today is officially the first day of Fall in our neighborhood. We broke out our pants! It'd been so long, I had totally forgotten what my pants looked like. We also got to wear sweaters. We hit up Farmers Market and the produce looked amazing! So beautiful. I wanted to kiss the growers. I wanted to make this meal to warm us up and use lots of our fresh veggies.

I love this recipe because it has a variety of veggies and instead of pasta contains quinoa. When I make this, I use only 4 cups stock and substitute the rest with water. I don't toast the quinoa and I omit the coriander (because we don't have any and I'm too cheap to buy it). My favorite topping to add to this soup are corn tortillas which I cut into strips and then pan fry till crispy. Yummy! 

Saucy Southwestern Meal recipe here.  


I encourage you to check out other recipes on this site by Ann Gentry. This is definitely the easiest one on the site, her dishes can get really complicated, but all her food is amazing and the site has great cooking videos by her as well.

Here is my baby! We called her Sunny in the womb and she definitely has lived up to her name. 

 How about that chunk! Her two faces are happy and terrified. Aw...they are growing too fast. Not allowed.

Today I scrubbed my kitchen sink so bright it almost blinded me. Yes, these are the things that excite me in life now. I love being a stay at home mom! All the sippy cups and the... the...mess...I take comfort in knowing that a cleaning fairy is going wipe the mess away. Yes, I'm the fairy. Do I get a badge for that?

I'm on the hunt for easy, quick, cheap vegan dishes (that does not include just rice and beans). Please share if you have a staple!