We are having a freaking blast! Meeting new people and immersing myself into the culture. It’s been a crazy bumpy ride and lots to share. Food has been great. Indian Curry last night and headed to England’s second city today. Then a huge leap to Germany, my first. Traveling can be grueling, crazy, mind blowing, but it’s so worth it. Meet my new friends Doug and Susan! I loved chatting with them in an English pub. It was super super cool. More updates as soon as I get wifi access. Got to catch the train.
YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHERE WE’RE GOING?!
All vegan of course! We are headed out on the highways and the sky ways and couldn’t be more excited! We are working hard on lots of videos, and getting our business off the ground.
In the meantime we are soon flying East on a two week journey across the pond. We will be taste testing and reviewing our vegan meals on our flights, whipping up amazing culinary delights with groceries stocked in our flat by my generous and kind mother in law and sister and law, and hitting pubs, restaurants, and bringing all sorts of vegan craziness to all of you. Give this Crazy Vegan Bitch some Jack Daniels and lots of veggies, fruits, and new vegan products, and she’s like a bat out of hell (a good hell that is! LOL)
We are packing, sorting, and making hundreds of lists for the kids, neighbors, and family! Not that they need them so they say. And they really aren’t kids as such as one is an adult and the other one knows everything and they are all taller than me. Ha ha !
Fuse box locations, directions for properly running the dishwasher, don’t forget to close the refrigerator, make sure the cats don’t get outside, garbage gets picked up on Mondays, check the mail everyday………have you guys left yet? The boys are just as excited that we are headed out! They get a two week reprieve of
- Hey! Who pissed on the toilet?
- Why hasn’t anyone changed the cat trays?
- Can anyone else please take the garbage out?
- Who left their dirty clothes on the bathroom floor?
I just finished my last MAJOR grocery shopping for the boys until we return.
*AS A SIDE NOTE TO MY BOYS, IF YOU’RE READING THIS, THERE IS NOW ENOUGH FOOD, TOILET PAPER, DRINKS, CAT SUPPLIES, AND NOTES IN THE HOUSE TO LAST YOU ALL 20 YEARS!
So just where are we going? We are headed to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Denmark! Some are just quick stops. Some include lots of exploring! We are going to take tons of pictures and over analyze it all for you.
Like last time, I hope to see the Queen!
Stay tuned for our crazy ride!
What isn’t new? We are working on big things over here at VBCC! We are going to start offering all kinds of great stuff.
- Skype Sessions
- Vegan Meal Plans
- Questions and Answers
- Giveaways and Contests to Win Free Stuff (who doesn’t like free shit?)
- Grocery Shopping Services
- If We are Lucky, Catering/Cooking Services
- Guest Appearances
We will keep offering recipes, blogs, tips, and craziness mixed in for free. It will be informative, fun, and definitely NEVER BORING!
Stay tuned. Keep checking back in. We are just figuring the ins and outs of this adventure.
Better yet, tell us what you’d like to see, purchase, or just talk about. In the meantime, we’ve added some new recipes, blog posts, and freaky fun; check them out.
Nutritional yeast, tempeh, seitan……..what the hell is all of this? Are these foods, fads, weirdo ingredients, or just plain evil stuff?
Where do I begin?
I became a vegan almost four years ago. I took the leap for the love of animals after my soul was awakened with the sad truths of animal agriculture. I didn’t become a vegan for my health, but OMG, did my health get a huge boost. If only I didn’t drink Jack Daniels, I’d live to the age of 200!! We all know that isn’t the truth, but it is a nice bonus that my health picked up a bit too.
Veganism rocks, big style! Transitioning into the lifestyle can be daunting. Words, foods, newbie thingies are flying at you left, right, and center. Add to that, the outside nutritional experts (once they find out you’re vegan) who question your every move. How do we keep up?
I am going to show you how easy it is to become a vegan. Words, foods, ingredients, product reviews, you name it, will become second nature. Cooking will become a second nature. For now, I’d like to introduce you to a few of the superstars.
This is a Biggy. This flaky, nutty, cheesy, power punch of vitamins and minerals kicks ass on anything and everything.
- Cheese recipes
Loaded with lots of B vitamins, including B12, a great source of complete protein, and a provider of trace minerals, nutritional yeast is a super food of greatness. As an added bonus, it’s also
- Fat free
- Gluten free
- Sugar free
You used to only be able to find this great stuff in health food stores. Now you can pretty much find this in most places. Kroger, Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, and Trader Joes all carry nutritional yeast.
It is pronounced (SAY TON), not SATAN, like I used to call it. Seitan, Satan, or even satin, who cares what it’s called. Just remember this vegan product is awesome. It comes precooked and just needs heated, but absorbs all flavors and spices. This is a great meat alternative.
- Zero cholesterol
- 28g Protein per serving
- Low fat
- Low carb
- Low sugar
- Nitrate free
- Antibiotic free
- Cruelty free
We had seitan this morning for our breakfast. We bought the Sweet Earth Brand strips. I tossed it in a frying pan with just about a ¼ c of syrup and served them with mushrooms, tomatoes, and toast. Great breakfast.
Tempeh is so versatile. We use tempeh as a meat substitute in many dishes. Yes, it’s a soybean product, a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. Fermentation of the soy beans is what makes this product special.
- High protein
- Low carb
- Nutty flavor
We love to use tempeh sliced, marinated with a great rub and grilled with barbecue sauce. Check out our videos on You Tube.
We are finally starting a video series on EVERYTHING VEGAN, beginning with nutritional yeast this afternoon. Tune in for info, fun, and complete and utter chaos.
I’ve been craving saucy, finger licking, messy barbeque for the last week or so. Add some local sweet corn, baked potatoes and you have a house full of happy campers.
Someone at work said to me, how the hell do vegans do barbecue? Really?
So I set out to make the most awesome vegan barbecue recipe. It was easier than easy.
The barbecue was so delicious, the omnivores preferred it over their own barbecue chicken.
Ok, so what did I do to make it so delectable? I made the perfect rub to season the tempeh just perfect and let it sit, while shaking off and on, for a few hours.
1/3 C Packed Brown Sugar
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Onion Powder
2-3 Dashes Cayenne Pepper
1 t Paprika
1 t Garlic Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
This rub worked perfectly for two packs of tempeh. I just sliced into strips, put into bowl with rub and shook up a few times, tossing and turning. I did this for about two hours off and on before putting on grill.
I put on grill and once the grill marks were prominent, I flipped to the same. Next I added a little store bought barbecue sauce while on the grill.
OMG, did this ever hit the spot. I could not believe how fantastic the bbq tempeh turned out. It was so good, I went to the grocery store the next morning to buy supplies and we cooked the same meal all over again.
Did I ever say I have an addictive personality? This recipe is super addictive. In fact, we will be having this same meal tomorrow afternoon, exactly one week later.
While typing up this awesome recipe for everyone, I began thinking.
Do newbies or just the curious even know what tempeh is? In fact, I remember when I was newly vegan, I had no clue what tempeh was. I had never even heard of the food. Actually, there were tons of vegan food products I had no clue about and had to research them. Stay tuned tomorrow for our first video on some maybe unknown vegan food products, what they are, how to use them, ideas on how to eat them. #Govegan It will be one of your best decisions.
August 15, 2018
Dear Beyond Meat, Tofurky, Miyoko’s, Just, Trader Joe’s, Boca, Lightlife, Field Roast, Gardein, and all you other wonderful vegan offering companies,
I need your help, desperately! The world needs your help.
First off, I want to thank each of your innovating and break out companies for taking the leap into the growing vegan world. Your products are game changers. People that have never tried your great vegan products are missing out. People that have tried them are in awe!
Our vegan movement is growing rapidly. More awakened people join the ranks every day. As you know and are responsible for, new vegan products are hitting the market on a daily basis. Companies like yours and others make the vegan food scene pop with endless possibilities. Plant-based is the way. We are so grateful. We use, highlight, and promote all of your wonderful products in our everyday lives, at home, at work, and with our online presence. Your meat and dairy alternatives rock our world! I can’t wait until they rock everyone’s world.
In the meantime, I’m writing to all of you to explain my dilemma and ask a huge favor, but first a little background information.
I have worked for NASA as a prime contractor for the Test, Facilities, Operations, Maintenance, and Engineering (TFOME) contract for the last 11 years. My job title is Research Laboratory Mechanic and I get to perform all sorts of cool jobs. My day to day variety of working on valves, playing with liquid nitrogen, and testing space flight hardware, to name just a few of my tasks, is out of this world.
The people I work with are amazing with a wide range of skillsets including electricians, scientists, managers, researchers, janitors, mechanics, drafters, engineers, general laborers, administrators, computer geeks, buyers, maintenance, HVAC, coordinators, and photographers! You name it! Our occupations vary to a large degree. We claim to fame the largest vacuum chamber, acoustic chamber, and mechanical vibration table in the world.
Sounds cool, eh?
So what could possibly be the problem you ask?!
Last week was our annual station wide (we have 6500 acres of land here and roughly 150-200 employees) summer picnic. Luckily, my memory is sharp and I recalled last year’s picnic. The only food offered that I would eat was mixed nuts and tortilla chips. I had left starving while my coworkers left over stuffed with the usual picnic fare.
I planned ahead this year and made a spicy chili with my garden vegetables, Boca Crumbles, and Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. I also brought some lovely red velvet cupcakes frosted with buttercream icing using only Miyoko’s butter. I wanted to bring Beyond Meat Burgers, Boca Chik’n Patties, and Just Mayo, but the grill was filled with chicken and ribs and I didn’t want cross contamination. I would love to see the grill full with Beyond Meat Burgers and Sausages, Boca Patties, Miyoko’s Cheeses, Field Roast meats and cheeses, Lightlife meatballs and deli slices, Tofurky sausages, roasts, and deli slices, and loaded with garden fresh vegetables, grilled buns, and slathered with Just Mayo….something we do all the time at home.
As far as I know, I am the only vegan on station. I have a plant-based coworker, but I believe that’s it. Most of the people I work with are hard core meat and dairy eaters. A few people asked why I brought my own food. One person wanted clarification on whether vegans ate cheese or not and then proceeded later to push the desserts saying, “Can’t you eat dessert either?”
Without calling anyone out for their weight or their health issues, I am blown away (reason for this letter) that so many intelligent people are still consuming tons and tons of animal products.
Our offerings today were
- Cheese Cubes
- Potato Chips
- Macaroni and Cheese
- BBQ Chicken
- Potato Salad
- Baked Beans with Bacon
- Pork Ribs
- Mixed Nuts
- Veggies with Ranch Dip
- Macaroni Salad
- Store Bought Cakes, Cookies, Pies
Not too much for a vegan! Not too much for anyone looking after their health either!
So here is my request for you all. I would love, love, love to show these people that you can eat great food and have great picnics with no animals harmed. Vegan sausages, burgers, appetizers, salads, rolls, and desserts for everyone.
My problem is that I can’t afford to purchase and cook for all of these people, even though I really really want to. Work hours, kids, mortgage payments, the usually life gets in the way of that dream. I do cook often for a group of my omnivore coworkers and they love my food, vegan and all. I would love to showcase that more for everyone.
Can any or all of you contribute to some sort of food donation so I can have a proper picnic showcasing how awesome the vegan world and their products are? You might just gain some more customers. You may change someone’s perception of veganism. You might just win some folks over. You might change the world. Maybe you’ll have a hand in how the next generation eats. Of course you will. You’re already doing that now.
It’s not rocket science.
Monica Hewitt VBCC
Research Laboratory Mechanic
NASA Plum Brook Station
Easy Vegan Baked Cheesy Meatless Meatballs
Wow! That’s a mouthful, but once you make and eat these saucy cheesy delights, you will see there is no other title for them. You don’t have to spend a million dollars and slave in the kitchen all day to make a perfect vegan meal. Not everything has to always be completely homemade. Let’s face it, we are busy people with jobs, and families, and schedules to uphold.
Yesterday was your typical Monday! Neither the Captain nor I were in the mood to go to work. The weekends just fly by. By the time we both arrived back home, the dinner hour had come and gone. We, along with our 13 year old son who had just returned from football practice in the 90 degree heat were exhausted and starving. We were all craving cool showers, our air conditioned home, and comfort food, but no one really felt like cooking.
Then I remembered our haul from Trader Joe’s over the weekend. I had the perfect solution to please everyone and not take up the rest of the evening cooking all night.
I grabbed a few ingredients, did a little prep work while the oven was preheating, and threw it all together for a delightful vegan meal. It turned out lovely. It was the perfect comfort food; saucy, cheesy, meaty. Adding the nutritional yeast not only kicks up the flavor a notch, but gives your B12 a boost. The meatballs are a great source of protein. Happy campers all around.
We all want to eat healthy, include as many fruits and vegetables as we can, but sometimes we might just have a hankering for some plant based meat and cheese alternatives.
No need to feel guilty because no animals were harmed to allow us to enjoy our meal. I am happy to share this recipe with you! I know you will enjoy it as much as we did.
VEGAN BAKED MEATBALLS
1 16 oz. Pkg Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs
1 24 oz. Jar Reggano Marinara Pasta Sauce (Aldi’s)
1 24 oz. Jar Reggano Mushroom Pasta Sauce (Aldi’s)
1 Onion Diced
8 oz. Mushrooms Diced
1 t Garlic Salt
1 t Italian Seasoning
½ c Nutritional Yeast
¼ c Fresh Basil
¼ c Fresh Chives
1 8 oz. Pkg Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella Shreds
Lots of Cracked Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F
Layer diced onion and mushroom on bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Next layer the meatless meatballs on top. Pour both jars of sauce into pan and slightly mix to get the sauce to the bottom layers too. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. The sauce should be starting to bubble. Take out of oven.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast, garlic salt, some black pepper and the Italian seasoning evenly over the meatballs and sauce. Next spread the mozzarella shreds and top with the basil and chives. As usual, I added more cracked black pepper. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 400 F until melted and starting to brown.
We ate these on some leftover hotdogs buns from our grilling adventures the night before. We had to eat them with a knife and fork. They were a messy delight. You could just eat them out of a bowl, or add pasta.
We love Aldi’s pasta sauces as most of them are vegan without a lot of additives. They are cheap too which is always great for our family budget. These 24 oz. jars were only 97 cents apiece. What a deal! We usually have a stockpile on hand for quick meals, including using for pizza. You can use whatever sauce you like. Homemade would be the best, but I just didn’t have the time last night. Trader Joe’s meatballs are another favorite of ours, but again, use the brand you like. Their Vegan Mozzarella Shreds are one of the best melting cheeses alternative products out there.
I wish I could say you will enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day, but I swear if I would have allowed it, the Captain and the kid would have licked the pan clean. The meatballs were gone in a heartbeat. Guess we will have to head back to Trader Joe’s soon. I should have bought more packages of meatballs.