Tag Archives: vegan

Day 40: my happy place.

Okay, first of all, did anyone else realize that the forty days of lent only lasted until Palm Sunday? Because I did not. Embarrassing.

But that’s not what I want to write about. I just want to write about how happy I am with today.

I woke up and read a book in bed for a while. I did some foot-strengthening exercises as cross-training (did I mention I ran 18 miles yesterday? Because I did). I made some breakfast. I went to church, where my pastor gave a wonderful sermon about pruning thorns from our lives. I went to Trader Joe’s with two friends I haven’t seen in AGES due to our busy schedules. We went back to their place and went for a long walk. We had lunch together and caught up on our lives. Kristina did some work while Michelle and I curled up on the couch and did computer puzzles together for a while. Then I drove home and spent three hours puttering around my kitchen.

Three hours. Of nothing but kitchen time. Okay, fine, and watching Gossip Girl on the laptop perched on my counter. But all I did was play! How about a list of what I accomplished?

1. I put away all my groceries.

2. I reorganized my baking cupboard. I put nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and dried fruits into tupperware containers to get rid of the bag clutter, and it looks so much nicer now! Still some work to be done, but now I have a better idea of what I want the space to look like.

3. I cooked up some quinoa in preparation for another recipe.

4. I made chickpea cutlets from my favorite vegan cookbook. It’s a favorite recipe, which my carnivore boyfriend likes.

5. I made sunflower seed pâté from Thrive, to have for snacks for a few weeks. It’s pleasantly rich! I think it’ll be nice and filling, with a good boost of protein. Thrive is the greatest book, by the way. It’s about vegan nutrition for athletes (and general folks), and I’m slowly using more and more of his recipes, especially surrounding my workouts. The pre-workout pudding got me through my eighteen-miler yesterday!

6. I made banana bread energy bars, also from Thrive. I’ve been meaning to make my own bars for a while, and I can’t resist anything that has banana in it, so this seemed like a perfect primer. They’re in my freezer at the moment. Is it snack time tomorrow yet?

7. I made veggie crackers from – you guessed it! – Thrive. They JUST came out of the oven! Thrive author Brendan Brazier recommended them to go with the sunflower spread, so I followed his advice.

8. Oh, I did take a break in there to EAT one of my chickpea cutlets! I put it on a toasted ciabatta roll (an impulse purchase from Trader Joe’s – I love a soft ciabatta) with some of the sunflower spread and a pile of spinach. A lovely little supper, enjoyed while watching Gossip Girl. I keep it classy.

All in all, a very productive night spent in my favorite place – the kitchen! I can’t explain what it is about the kitchen, but I’m so happy in there. I love having my hands busy and getting up close and personal with my food. I love having a product at the end and knowing I made something delicious all on my own. Call me a ’50s housewife, but I love puttering around my kitchen.

It’s one of my spiritual gifts, I think. The only thing I love more than puttering around my kitchen is giving whatever said puttering produces to someone else. I love to cook for my boyfriend or my friends. I love to bring baked goods to church coffee hour or bible study. I love taking God’s raw gifts, turning them into something delicious, and sharing them with his people. It’s such an organic gift, something that goes straight into caring for the bodies he gave us. The bodies we use to do his work and love each other.

My happy place, folks, is the kitchen. Bon appetit. And amen!


Day 27: my future?

A quick anecdote:

A woman I work with was walking two of her friends, a married couple, around the office today on a little tour. They stopped by to say hi and said they were from Portland, Oregon.

“Oh, awesome!” I said. “I’ve always wanted to go Portland. I’m a vegan – “


Immediate friendship.

It’s such a blessing to meet fellow vegans. When I decided to go vegan, plenty of people warned me that it would be a lonely life. I went into this fully aware that my fellow kale munchers were few and far between, but it’s given me a great appreciation for the rare occasions when I do bump into them. This couple was no exception.

We exchanged a few stories about our decisions to go vegan and the cookbooks we liked before they launched into tales of the vegan clubs they frequent in Portland. My face hurt from smiling so much. What an inspiration to see a happily married couple in their sixties engaging in an active vegan community! It was amazing!

I confided in them that I harbored fantasies of spending a week this summer working on a farm sanctuary with rescue animals, just shadowing the staff, working hard in exchange for learning about their work. This incredible couple immediately listed half a dozen sanctuaries near the Portland area and offered to ask their vegan friends if anyone had a connection.

See, it’s little things like this that make me believe God is at work in my life. Here is a random couple I’ve never met who just happened to be touring the office at a time when I’m not usually at my desk. I randomly mention my vegan diet, and suddenly I’m a hundred steps closer to my dream of working for an animal sanctuary.

The older I get, the more I see how God works. If you pray sincerely and often and regularly take small steps toward that which sets your heart to dancing, God takes care of the rest.

I’ll keep you posted. Keep your eyes peeled for God in the details. He’s there.

Day 18: an errant thought.

I’m not feeling very wordy tonight, but I’ve been thinking a lot about doing God’s work. My true passion lies in environmental conservation and animal care, which I already honor in my everyday life. I eat a vegan diet, I bring my own bags to the grocery store, I recycle obsessively, I never use disposable kitchenware, etc. Creation care is my calling, my joy, my mission.

But I wonder:

If I really, truly surrendered everything and said to God, “I want to go where your creation needs me most,” where would he send me?

Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I suppose if I’m going to blog about veganism, I should start posting food. Today is day 16 of the lent challenge, and it’s my first recipe!

(For the record, I’m not a photographer. And I have very little interest in becoming a photographer. So there won’t be pretty pictures. Just straight-up chow.)

I make this recipe almost every week. I eat it for lunch so often that my lunch buddies tease me when I bring something else. “Where’s your quinoa? Are you sick?!”

This recipe is easy to make, easy to adapt, easy to store, easy to eat. And it’s good for you! Lots of protein, no refined sugar, veggies. It’s very light and fresh, with a little kick from the garlic and onion. Perfect for lunch.


Cranberry Quinoa Salad

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water

(all ingredients from here on down are loose measurements that you should adapt to your own tastes)

1 red onion

1 bag of craisins

2-4 tablespoons of agave nectar (or honey, if you’re indifferent to Bee Welfare)

2-4 tablespoons of lemon juice

A few cloves of garlic, minced or chopped

Some herbs, kinda whatever you’re feelin’: basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, anything.

Bag o’ spinach


Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes.

While it’s cooking, chop up your craisins and onion. I really like onion so I usually use the whole thing, but half an onion will do. The whole bag of craisins (usually a cup or two) is encouraged. Mix up the honey/agave and lemon to your tastes. Seriously, exact measurements do not matter here. It’ll be delish no matter what. Just play with it and see what you like. Add your garlic, your herbs (measurements not important, just make it up), and the chopped up craisins and onion. Let it all marinate together while the quinoa cooks. Once the quinoa is done, mix it in. Let it cool a little before storing it. Store in a tupperware in the fridge.

You can probably get 3-5 lunches out of this! It’s also a great way to eat spinach: when you’re packing it in a tupperware for lunch, add a few handfuls of chopped/torn up fresh spinach. Easy way to get your greens (especially if you rip/chop it into little pieces first) and it makes the salad pretty. If you shake the tupperware (make sure the lid is FIRMLY on or you’ll get quinoa all over yourself. Not that this happened to me. Ahem), it’ll all mingle nicely and be much easier to eat. Plus it’s good cold, so it’s perfect for eating at your desk on busy days.


Adapted from this recipe from Whole Foods.