, , , , , , , , ,

Above Photo:  chopped Boca vegan burger, frozen veggies, onion, garlic, zucchini, kale and some homemade cajun seasoning.  Saute all together with a little olive oil spray and serve hot or even in a burrito.

Currently our position is in the middle of a very small farming town so as one can imagine there are not many options available for vegans.  One would think farmers would eat more produce than not, seeing as a carrot is cheaper than a cow, but this really is not the case in small towns in Michigan, USA.  As a child, my parents worried about my sister and me since we both would not eat meat from a very young age.  It was really strange to them seeing as they were brought up in the country on meat and potatoes.  Still today our parents do not understand our choices and try to force us to eat non-vegan options.  We are still working on both sides of our families but with very little change in opinions.  There was a slight change in my mother though as after about 7 years, she made us one vegan meal.  After this many years we really do not expect anyone to make us anything but this peace-offering was super sweet and we took advantage of her white flag.  Additionally we have also been finding new vegan options available in local stores that we have never tested out before since we do try to steer clear of pre-packaged, highly processed ingredients.  But, it’s a vacation so we can do what we want, right?  So on to the new foods we have tried lately:

Banana Milk is something that I have been really loving. I have been watching 80/10/10 “What I Ate” videos on YouTube lately can you tell? This is made from one banana and some water blended together to make a frothy smoothie.  Genki Husband prefers his with dates too.

We love dates in our family. Normally we purchase a different brand of Medjool Dates which taste like caramel and melt in your mouth. These we found at the local Meijer’s Grocery Store in the dried fruit section of the fresh produce section. (Not in the pre-packaged aisles of dried fruit.) I’ve been wanting these so bad and we finally found them- hooray! We bought a large container since we eat a lot of them on a normal occasion.

These are the dates without the lid on – aren’t they gorgeous?! If you have never had them before I highly suggest you going out and buying a large container. You won’t be disappointed. They do have a higher level of sugar but do not worry since the sugar is natural and does not digest the same as processed cane sugars such as those in milk chocolate bars.

My parents love Applebee’s Restaurant. It is a family-style restaurant in the USA that has bar food and also full entrees. It is more of a sit down/fast-food restaurant with the option to sit at the bar on game days. This is the Spinach & Strawberry salad that is available on the normal menu. We had to order it to be vegan though. I’m not sure if we are just getting bad experiences or if places just aren’t worried about appearances anymore. This is how the waitress brought this salad out, parts falling out of the bowl. It also has a few little pieces of avocado but they were closer to the bottom of the bowl swimming with a ton of vinaigrette dressing. We only ate about 1/2 the plate.

This is the only other option we could find on the entire menu that didn’t have meat or cheese (or veganize’able). These were “homemade” chips with a queso dip (not vegan). I love homemade chips and french fries so I’m not afraid of a little oil. These were not just swimming but drowning in oil even after we tried to soak up some of the oil with napkins. Yep, we didn’t finish these either but left them with a burial not at sea but in oil. It was really sad because I was starving… I’m still sore about not getting homemade chips… ha-ha As you can tell, Applebee’s is now completely off our list after changing to their new “healthier” menu.

On a positive side we made homemade pizza!!!! So thrilled! We made our own crust and then freeze one for later at the same time. This pizza was inspired by the pizza Genki Husband brought home from his last trip to California. It has tomato sauce, sliced local tomatoes, cilantro, mushrooms, vegan cheese, avocado and some seasoning. It was soooooo delicious!

We tested out another Pinterest recipe called Thai Kale Salad. Radishes and Kale are both in season in our area so we wanted to make this recipe with inspiration from Mother Nature. It was so very delicious! It states the recipe makes enough for one person but we found it served about 4! We loved it so much we made it twice in one week.

As many of you have probably seen this on my instagram page (Look under user GenkiKitty), this is the Marbled Banana Bread we tested out the other day. It looks super hard but if we can do it before we have had any coffee in the morning so can you. It’s worth the extra few minutes to marble the bread. Mmmm We will be making this again and again. The original recipe.

It was still morning so we were using fake lighting but this is what it looked like inside. It was gorgeous! I would highly recommend making this recipe when you have guests over so you can impress them.