Sunday, August 2, 2015

New adventures

It has been a while since I posted here and I want to take a few minutes to explain what has kept me so busy. 

A few months ago I was offered an opportunity at a new location. While it meant moving a long distance for my family....

 (He actually naps almost the entire time in a car!)

It also meant a new adventure.

So after long discussions and weighing the options, we packed our bags and headed west. 

This Heart of Georgia is now deep in the Heart of Texas! 

What does this mean for this blog? The group on Facebook? We'll as long as people are still interested in reading these post (when I post!) then I will continue to post on here. You'll probably see posts about Texas as well. I'll label those and tag in a different section. 

For the Facebook group, it will stay as well. I often post items in it of interest or sales in the Columbus/Macon area. Also, everyone who is a member can post. So if you know of an upcoming event or anything else please feel free to post! 

If in the future, this blog becomes to Texas slanted then maybe I'll make changes. For now, we'll continue as is, ok? 

Now what kind of post do you want to see? Reviews? Post about restaurants? Post about chef Jonathan cooking? He is after all the one who makes many of the delicious recipes on here. Post about every day life of a vegan? Let me know in the comments if you have any preferences on post as I will be posting more in the future and will do my best to add in some of the recommendations.

For now, I leave you with this little family ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

VegWeek Meet Up: April 24th

I'm so excited to announce that we are having our very first meet up! This has been something many of us have wanted to do for a while, and what better time than VegWeek?

Join us on April 24th at 7 pm at Mellow Mushroom in Macon for the Heart of Georgia Veggies VegWeek meet up. It is our first ever meet up event, and I am excited to finally meet some of your in person!

We will get together for introductions, good food, share literature/recipes/books, and discuss future events. We are meeting at Mellow Mushroom, who is a sponsor for VegWeek and has tons of veggie options. Learn more about US Vegweek online

Let us know in the comments or on Facebook if you plan on attending so we can grab a big enough table.   I mean good food and good conversation... what could be better?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Pho Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant

Pho Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant in Macon, Ga

I really enjoy trying different food, and going to new places; however, I'm always leery of new places since it is difficult to confirm the ingredients in dishes. Pho Saigon is a small locally owned family restaurant in Macon, Ga. It offers Vietnamese food and does veganize some of the foods. Just make sure to let the server know you are vegetarian or vegan.

A couple of quick notes: the Pho is a meat based broth. For the veggie fried rice ask for no egg. For the Bun, ask for no fish sauce. My husband likes to get the peanut sauce with the Bun and the spring rolls (ask for tofu in spring rolls instead of shrimp).

So we typically order spring rolls with tofu and lemongrass tofu Bun.

Once I tried the vegetable fried rice, which was good, but I prefer the Bun. So I typically order it when I go to Pho Saigon.

The owners are very nice and have actually learned who we are and our typical order. If you enjoy Vietnamese food or just want to try something new, then I suggest stopping by Pho Saigon. Support local restaurants and enjoy a great meal.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Peaceful demonstration for circus animals

Today, I participated in my first peaceful demonstration. A peaceful gathering of a few dedicated animal rights activist to speak up for the animals in the Ringling Brothers Circus. It was a liberating event. The first time I had ever done anything like this, in fact it was the first time any of us had participated in a demonstration. 

First, I want to thank Jessica for putting this together so quickly. She found out just a few days ago about the circus being in town, gathered together a group of people, made signs, and arranged everything. It was great to meet and stand along fellow supporters in support of the animals. 

Some might say, why would I want to hold a sign, and others might ask why I've never done this before? Well first, I have to say it took a while to gather the courage to even stand on the side of the road holding a sign. It is way outside my comfort zone. 
I did it not to make others feel uncomfortable, but to put the information out in the open that wild animals are not meant to be confined and forced to perform. We were speaking up for those who have no voice and are born into a sad life or torn from their home. Wild animals belong in the wild. 

I share this not to judge others, but to make people stop and think about the animals. The animals are not in the circus at their choosing. "They “perform” out of fear of retaliation, of further torture, out of necessity. They travel for thousands of miles in discomfort, enduring endless trauma in their confinement, putting everyone who could come into contact with them at risk. These animals are mere commodities to the multimillion-dollar circus industry; their “caregivers” are their jailers."

Do I think we made a difference? I don't know, but I hope so. I hope those who saw us went home and researched the topic for themselves. I hope they stopped to think about the animals in the show. We all have an impact on this world, and I try, to the best of my ability, to make a compassionate impact on the lives of my fellow earthlings.

For more information please see this video below and also review the I share this information to help others understand the life of circus animals. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Lemongrass Thai Bistro

Review of Lemongrass Thai Bistro in Macon, Ga

A nice little restaurant in downtown Macon. The nice thing about the restaurant is they label their food and also state at the top of the Thai list that items can be made vegan. 

Blurry menu but top is "V" description for veganizing items

On Thursdays the restaurant offers happy hour deals until 6pm. This includes discounted appetizers including these delicious veggie double tempura rolls. 

Veggie Double Tempura Rolls
Sorry for the poor picture quality. Thursday night is date night, and the lights are lowered in the restaurant.

Please note for vegans that the orange drizzle on the side is actually a mayo style sauce that does contain dairy. Ask your serve to leave this off the plate. The good thing is it was not touching the tempura rolls. 

The tempura rolls are the best appetizer on the menu. Actually they can serve as dinner, and right now on Thursday night before 6pm they cost just $5! 

Now, I highly recommend if you like spicy food asking for the TomTom (s/p) sauce. It is made in-house and is spicy goodness. 

Pad Ki Mow Nua with tofu (#N3)
For the main course, which I ended up taking most of it home, is what I would call drunken noodles. Be careful. Thai hot was too hot for me. I typically ask for two chili peppers and then add TomTom sauce to it if needed. 

It can be hard to find parking, and the restaurant is small. So be prepared for limited tight seating. They also have seating outside. Again, Thursday night before 6pm is currently Happy Hour with discounted drinks, appetizers, and other items.  

Overall the restaurant offers great food, and during Happy Hour at a great price. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vegan biscuits at last!

I've hunted far and wide for vegan biscuits, and come up empty. I'm sure there are probably some available at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's but sadly there isn't a store near Macon or Columbus. We typically take side trips to Atlanta just to grocery shop about every other month. I really wanted to find a place locally that had good biscuits or find a good recipe.

So I went online, and then my sweet husband offered to make biscuits from scratch. And O.M.G. they were so delicious. I mean look...

Homemade vegan biscuit with Upton's Naturals bacon seitan and Daiya provolone style cheese slices

If you are more of a fan of sweet than savory then this is your jam:

Homemade vegan biscuit with strawberry jam from the Mulberry Farmer's Market
The great thing about these biscuits is they only take 1 bowl and about 30 minutes. The recipe is online at Minimalist Baker (original recipe adopted from Alton Brown).

If you don't have a biscuit cutter, then use a glass or the top from a mason jar. Just make sure to dust with flour and don't overwork the dough. Overworking the dough will make for dense non-fluffy biscuits. 

Upton's Naturals bacon seitan
Make sure to add seasoning to the seitan bacon. We found it a little plain without adding seasoning. 

Vegan Biscuits Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 1 Tbsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 3/4 tsp sea salt
  5. 4 Tbsp non-dairy, unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
  6. 1 cup unsweetened PLAIN almond (I used Soy milk as we don't keep almond milk on hand) milk + 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

So 7 ingredients, 1 bowl, and 30 minutes. Sounds too good to be true, and the taste. Yum! But wait it gets better... 

That's right... homemade vegan sausage gravy!!! We My husband made the gravy this weekend to go with our biscuits. 

Vegan Sausage Gravy Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups soy or almond milk
  • 4 sausage substitute patties or ground sausage links (ex. Boca or Morningstar Breakfast Patties. Make sure to read the packages ingredients. I don't like Morningstar, or really Boca. We typically use Kroger Simple Truth. I prefer the taste over Morningstar or Boca, but that's just me. When cooking the sausage add liquid smoke. It will turn the gravy brown but will also be so good)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt -- we added more
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper -- we added more
  • Mrs. Dash... we wanted more spice
  • My note: Add sriracha sauce as it's cooking to kick it up a notch. Just a little!
  • Recipe from the Southern Vegan

As you can see we made these biscuits several times and tried various versions. These biscuits have become a regular item in our house most weekends now because they are awesome. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Photo essay: What's growing in West Virginia's urban ruins?

This is a great story of how a small group of individuals is trying to improve a community while offering healthier food. Giving hope to an area that is suffering. I wonder if something like this could be done in Macon? Or in other towns in Georgia that are struggling? Could this be a way to fight blight in the area? I've heard stories of how community gardens that were started had to be closed due to vandalism and people arguing over ownership of the vegetables. What do you think? Could this type of urban farming be done in Georgia? In Macon? Is it already being done? Either way, the eco/green hippie in me would love to dive in and play in the dirt all day! :)

from Diigo