Tag Archives: vegetarian

When I Have Free Time

27 Jan

Right now things have kept me really busy between teaching and full winter chores.

Onyx having a conversation with Benji, Lemuel, and Frodo

But when I have a little bit of time, I’ve managed to find some things to do.  I think I am getting pretty good at my vegetarian meat substitutes.  After five months, I think I’ve perfected the black bean and portobello hamburgers.

I also played with making manicotti for the first time.  I used my chevre to make the filling.

I still have a pie pumpkin on the counter from my garden that I ought to do something with before it gets rotten.  Maybe this weekend…

I have continued playing with buttons to make mixed media art pieces.  I finished the one that says “Hope”.  I still need to put the hanger on the back of it.

Then I did a tree. It has been very relaxing to make these pieces.  Hopefully, I’ll get better and be able to make more complex designs.

My newest mixed media art piece.

I’m trying to plan another one that will use feathers and buttons that will fit in the shadowbox frame.

I have also been spending a lot of time on genealogy to get ready for the trip east with my mom this summer.  It’s been a lot of research, but I want to be prepared to plan the best route.

Fat goats running and playing in the snow.

As much as I’ve managed to fill this winter time, I’m really looking forward to spring.

Healthy Eating

11 Nov

Over the last year, I’ve really tried to improve the healthiness of the food I eat.  I’ve been a vegetarian for 18 1/2 years thanks to my animal family. Let’s face it–it was MJ.  I just couldn’t eat meat after him.

MJ (from 2013)

That means I have way less cholesterol in my diet, only from my dairy products.  I do love my dairy though, and I don’t think I could ever give it up.  The homemade mozzarella and yogurt are so much better than store bought.

Adding blueberries to some of the yogurt I made last weekend.

Seriously, I never want to go back to the over-salted mozzarella you buy.

Still milking Zinnia!

After my mom’s heart attack last summer, it really put the pressure on to cut the excessive sodium out of my diet, especially since I have heart disease on both sides of the family.  All of the prepackaged meat alternatives I was cooking with have tons of sodium.  I’ve spent the last year figuring out how to make my own meat substitutes.

slicing turkey seitan for sandwiches

I can do a pretty passable turkey, chicken, ham, roast, hamburger, and bacon.  They have no cholesterol and very little sodium.  But it’s hard to find the time to make it from scratch.

perfect for pizza, quiche, or sandwiches

The hardest part of cutting down on sodium was looking at my beloved vegetable stock and realizing it had to go.  I cannot believe the amount of sodium in basic vegetable stock you buy in the store.  One of the reasons I planted such a big garden this past summer was to raise the vegetables to make my own.

The garden largely failed this year, but I got my turnips and tomatoes, and I bought the rest of the vegetables, and my homemade vegetable stock has no sodium added.

Last month, I saw a news report on a new push for the food industry to cut back on the amount of sodium they add to foods because people can’t even cut the sodium out of their diets the way our food industry is set up.  I will attest to how hard it is.  The french fries we made from the potatoes we grew had no salt added, but the time it takes to cut, parboil, dry and freeze them compared to just opening a bag from the store is very restrictive.  But they are delicious.  You can actually taste the potato!

I’ve finally made the compromise to just do one potato when I want fries and deep fry it in the fry daddy instead of freezing a bunch at a time.  It might not be quite as healthy, because of the fat, but it is still way healthier than the store bought.

It makes me grateful to be out here where I can have a big garden and the goats and chickens to provide me with so much of my food.

Around the House

21 Jan

Winter gives me a lot more time in the house.  Usually, my time is divided between reading, knitting, and playing with food. Currently, I’m reading about the 1918 influenza pandemic.  Why wouldn’t I be reading about a pandemic as we’re trying to survive another one?

I last shared my knitting work in progress that I was trying to salvage.  It isn’t quite how it’s supposed to be in the neck, but I’m going to call it a success.

As a bonus, it actually fit the Little Farm Hand!

the Little Farm Hand and his dad

trying out the front pocket (he was tired from sledding)

I still have plenty of help whenever I try to knit.

Bob Cat

I have also managed to finish another infinity scarf.

I also finished a headband for a local lady.  I am in a rare moment of not actually having a knitting project going, but I am thinking of doing Hedwig (from Harry Potter) next.  I’ve ordered the yarn for the wings and the eyes, so I’m preparing for it.  I do have a sweater I started months ago that I could try finishing, but that seems rather tedious now.  We’ll see…

I did get my potato planted.  It was just kind of hanging in there, but I couldn’t figure out why.  Well, I caught Rocky trying to pee in the pot.  Brat.

Rocky–don’t let the innocent look fool you.

I covered the plant with clear plastic, and now it’s doing amazing!

Not only is the cat not in there, but it holds the humidity in too.  I think it likes that.  Hopefully, it continues to do well once it gets too tall for me to have it covered.

I just added another layer of dirt to cover those roots and “hill” it up.

My celery I tried rooting collapsed into a puddle of mush.  I’m trying again.

celery

The stalks look good, but the base is getting mushy, and I don’t see roots forming.  I might just put them in dirt and see what happens. I keep trying new recipes to avoid all the sodium-filled highly processed foods.

homemade seitan pepperoni and a cauliflower crust

I swear I feel like I’ve never cooked in my life.  Hopefully, all my playing pays off and I can eat delicious and healthy vegetarian foods eventually.

I have to say, the burgers turned out amazingly!  I might finally be getting there.