That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals

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When I was in Seattle, I came across this children’s book called That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals by Ruby Roth. I was blown away! I didn’t realize that children’s authors were writing about being vegetarian & vegans. It seems really obvious to me now, but I just didn’t expect it. I didn’t get a chance to actually look through the book, but I’m still really excited it exists. Hopefully in the next year or two, Ben and I will be celebrating a baby shower so I hope we get this book and lots of other books like this! Apparently author Ruby Roth has a few in this collection.

Vegan in Seattle

This weekend I spent a little more than 24 hours in my new favorite city, Seattle. I’m not even sure how I manged to go this long without really visiting Seattle – but I’m glad I finally made it, even if it was for a short time. My hostess was awesome and made sure that I saw all the key things as quickly as possible.

For brunch, she took me to Cafe Flora, which is a well-known vegan/vegetarian eatery in the Madison Valley neighborhood of Seattle and boasts a 4-star Yelp rating. Upon entering, it was just comfort-city – I knew I was going to love it. I got the “Combo” drink which is 1/2 rosemary lemonade and 1/2 cranberry ginger cider. It was delicious! You could taste every flavor separately and together, they mixed perfectly for a refreshing bev! As a table, we started with a plate of beignets (vegetarian, not vegan). They were warm and not overly sweet and seriously perfect. PERFECT. And then for my main course, I had the vegan biscuits and gravy.

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The gravy was sweeter than the other vegan gravies I’ve had, but it was still so good. And the biscuits were flaky and buttery, but without butter. A+ in my book! I cannot wait to go back to Seattle and try Cafe Flora once again. :-)

 

Vegan Homemade Spicy Chili

I’ve been craving chili. I almost settled on Trader Joe’s canned chili, but I’ve always loved to make chili at home especially since it’s so easy to make. I used to make a lot of chili when I was a meat eater, and vegetarian too. I definitely paused a bit wondering how my recipe would change now that I’m vegan. But I realized, other than omitting actual meat for Morningstar crumbles, nothing else would change. In place of my previous proteins, I used Beyond Meat vegan crumbles and it was fantastic and super spicy. I’m so glad that I made it home and even more excited for chili leftovers for dinner tomorrow!

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Spicy Edamame

Spicy edamame is one of those things that I always love at Japanese restaurants, but I’ve never really thought about making it at home. I don’t know why because when I finally tried making it – it was easier than anything. And such a fantastic and healthy vegan snack. I’m really bad at measuring stuff when I’m just tossing ideas together, but here’s the jist of the recipe:

  • 1 Bag of Edamame in their pods (cooked according to its directions, steamed or boiled)
  • canola oil spray
  • 3 cloves of garlic smooshed through a garlic press (I used REALLY BIG cloves because I love garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of siracha
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Make the edamame and set them aside. Over medium heat, spray a pan with some canola oil and add all the remaining ingredients (no edamame). Cook for 3-4 minutes while the sauce thickens up. As you look at the sauce, add whatever else you think it needs – more soy sauce, more spices, etc. When it looks a little bit thicker than how it started out toss it with the edamame. Ta-da – edamame magic! I was a bit nervous when I made it because I felt like I put way too many red pepper flakes, and then with the siracha – I didn’t want it burning my mouth. BUT the brown sugar is really the key in this dish. It really mellows everything out so you get a great flavor, but not a painful amount of spice at all. It’s almost tangy. This is my new favorite at home snack.

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Cinnaholic!

Today, on a random Tuesday off with my fiance (!!!) we went on a couple of vegan adventures. First we drove to Loving Hut in Milpitas. It’s an old staple of ours and it was fun to be back after almost 2 years. The food was great – it always is. And they’ve done a great job revamping their menu.

But really, today’s highlight was Cinnaholic, a vegan cinnamon roll bakery in Berkeley. I’d brought a Groupon recently and decided to give this place a try. OMG. It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Here’s how it works – you get a cinnamon roll, pick a flavored frosting and then load it up with toppings. There’s like 30 frosting flavors and even more toppings. And all VEGAN. Simply fan-frickin-tastic!

Fiance got maple frosting with pecans. I got mine with peanut butter frosting with bananas and Oreos. Ours had just come out of the oven and were warm, gooey goodness. So. So. So good. If you’re in the area – go. NOW. I can’t wait to go back.

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UNITED AIRLINES SUCKS.

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I’m sitting on my United Airlines flight while I type this, to be uploaded to my blog if I ever reach my destination. It’s become evident to me that United has bumped Delta out of its first place standing as the worst airline I’ve ever flown on. Congrats United!

My flight plan for today:

San Francisco (12:50pm departure) to Chicago (6:59pm arrival; 9:06pm departure) to Springfield, IL (10:23pm arrival)

Unfortunately, none of that is happening. On my way to SFO, I received an automated phone call that my flight had been delayed. New departure time: 1:12pm. No biggie. By the time I got to the airport, new departure time: 1:30pm. A little annoying, but still ok. My biggest concern was that I’d miss my connecting flight and at this point, I’d still make everything ok. I grabbed some food that looked great but tasted awful and waited at the gate. I sat across from a TV monitor that did a horrible job of keeping me updated on my fought status. Heck, it still said the flight was still on time…after our original departure time.

At some point, the morons working the counter updated us that it was a delayed aircraft that was holding us up. By 1:30pm, they were announcing that the airplane was in the hanger waiting to come to our empty gate. Slowly we watched the departure time change…1:45pm…1:50pm…2:10pm. Our excitement rose as we finally saw our plane come in to the gate (before 2:10pm), at which time we were told that maintenance had to do some work. We waited. We waited. Finally they began boarding, as passengers frantically tried to reschedule missed connecting flights. I spoke with the moron at the front who assured me we would be arriving in Chicago at 8:49pm, which would cut it really close, but still doable. I was one if the last 10 people on the plane and as I handed the moron my boarding pass, I checked with him again. “You’ll definitely be landing by 8:49pm!”

Finally, I was cozy in my seat at 2:30pm, ready to go!! In my head, I was already preparing for the mad dash I would need to make for my next gate. Within minutes after I boarded, the cabin doors were shut. Flight attendants were prepping Emergency Exit folks on their duties, and the video was playing explaining belt fastening and whatnot. Everything looked promising for the last updates 2:55pm departure we were told as we boarded.

And then we sat. And sat. Without air conditioning or updates – I’m not sure which was worse. Finally at 3:15pm, the captain comes on to explain that he’s waiting for approval from the airport gods to move the plane. At 3:20pm the plane finally moves….after I’ve sat there for 50 minutes and the rest of the passengers had sat there longer. But we still didn’t take off. Instead we moved into a position on the runway that made it seem like we would take off, but nope. That would be too easy. I don’t know exactly when we took off, but my guess would have been it was another 10-15 minutes later. I was too upset to keep looking at my watch.

When the pilot finally came on to announce another update, he indicated that we should be arriving by 9:15pm…11 minutes after my flight is scheduled to take off. I’m starving right now, but I refuse to purchase any inflight food because I would rather gouge my eyes out than give another dollar to United. My only hope is that my next flight is also delayed so I can at least get to my final destination tonight. And from my googling “United sucks” before I got on the plane, I think it’s probably a safe bet that my next flight will be delayed, since they’re apparently known for being one of the shittiest airlines. Wish I had looked into that before booking this stupid flight.

What a total waste of space you are, United Airlines. This is why, when it’s within my power, I only fly SOUTHWEST.

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It’s now day 2 of my travels. I got to Chicago and my connecting flight to Springfield was still on the ground waiting to depart. I had 20 minutes before it was going to take off. As we exited the plane we were greeted by two United employees. One who was completely rude. And the other completely clueless. The rude one let me know that I could not get onto my flight because the doors were already closed even though it wasn’t scheduled to take off for another 20 minutes. The clueless one was passing out new boarding passes and hotel vouchers to the rest of us. So there it was. I was off to a hotel for the night with two meal vouchers totaling $14.

They got me onto a flight this morning at 11:15am. I was expecting the flight to run really late and surprisingly it was only five minutes late. Still late, but just not that late. It seemed like things were actually going my way. Until I got to Springfield, when lo and behold my luggage didn’t arrive with me. My luggage is currently in Chicago. And I’m currently in Springfield. I was able to shower this morning. But I’m still wearing the clothes that I put on yesterday morning. It’s pretty gross and not the way that I’d like to go to a work-related conference right now. I was told by the solo United agent here (who was also the baggage handler) that they might be able to get me my bag tonight if it makes it onto one of the two flights leaving Chicago for Springfield.

I am livid. I hate that I have to use United to fly back on Thursday, but I know that after that I will never ever use this airline again. WORST. AIRLINE. EVER.

Happy Girl (& Boy). Happy Day.

Today included an amazing vegan picnic followed by a proposal. We’re engaged!

I’m beyond happy. It’s an amazing day and I’m thrilled to be loved so much. These have been the best 4 years of my life and the future looks spectacular. I’m excited to spend the rest of my life with someone who’s taught me so much about love, loyalty and respect. He is my BEST friend.

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