bird watching BG

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter "Cheese Cake"

Super super super yummy! Actually tasted like cheesecake (which completely impressed me since I LOVED me some good cheesecake back in the day). I have made this multiple times and I love it. Rich, creamy, DELICIOUS.


1 12.3 oz Extra Firm Light Silken Tofu
1 8oz package of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup vegan Milk (I prefer Rice)
1/4 or 1/3lb of dark chocolate
5 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Teaspoon canilla
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 prepared graham cracker crust


1. Preheat oven to 350F
2.Drain tofu and put it and the cream cheese into food processor. Blend until Smooth
3. Add sugar and milk and process until sugar is dissolved.
4. Add remaining ingredients (except peanut butter, chocolate and crust) and process until completely smooth
5. Melt chocolate in microwave safe container so its soft enough to blend. (or heat over stove)
6. Pour half of your blended cream into a separate bowl and fold in the chocolate until its fully incorporated.
7. Pour chocolate mixture into pie crust.
8. Add peanut butter to remaining cream mixture and blend until smooth (taste test and add more peanut butter if you prefer)
9. Pour peanut butter mixture into pie crust over the chocolate mixture.
10. Bake 55 minutes(dont allow it to get brown)
Filling will be slightly jiggly and wont set completely until chilled.
11. Allow to cool and then refrigerate until chilled (longer the better)

A Vegan Thanksgiving

I know, I know. Its April. And Im JUST posting about our Thanksgiving. (Ill just use the excuse that I had a baby end of February, and we'll call it good).
I just HAVE to share with you how delicious and successful our second thanksgiving was. We had some vegan friends over and it was delicious. Last year it was a lot more casual and we had yummy vegan pizza, casserole and mashed potatoes. But this year... we kinda went all out.

We had a Tofurky (YUM), Portobello Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie Pot Pie and Mac and Cheese. For dessert, we had a Peanut Butter Chocolate "Cheesecake" and Apple crisp. YUM.

Starting at the top, going clockwise: Mashed Potatoes, Veggie Pot Pie, Mac and Cheese, Tofurky and Green bean Casserole (in the center)

Tofu Spinach Lasagna

This recipe is AMAZING. I absolutely loved it and couldn't believe how great the tofu filling tasted! Even Levi (3) loved it.


1/2 to 1lb lasagna noodles (I prefer no bake ones)
2 packages (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1 package (16 oz) firm tofu (not Silken)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1/4 cup nondairy milk (I prefer rice)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 peeled garlic cloves)
2 tablespoons lemon (about half lemon)
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon of salt
4-6 cups of tomato or pasta sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cook lasagna noodles (if you arent using no-boil noodles)
3. Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible and set aside
4. Place tofu, sugar, milk, garlic, lemon juice, basil and salt in a lender or food processor and blend until smooth. The tofu "ricotta" should be creamy but still have body.
5. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in spinach
6. Cover bottom of 9x13in dish with a thin larger or tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles, than the tofu filling. Continue in same order, using the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and tofu filling. End with noodles (and a little sauce on top)
7. Bake 40-45 minutes

Veggie Pot Pie


3 Potatoes
2 Carrots
1 Small onion
8 oz mushrooms
2 Cups veggie broth
1 Cup frozen peas
1/4 Cup flour
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder or some kind of seasoning
1/2 Milk (I use Rice)
Salt and Pepper
Frozen puff pastry sheets or make your own crust (I look up different kinds of crusts on Vegweb)


1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Pell potatoes, carrots, onions and cut into 1/4 in cubes.
3. Chop mushrooms to desired size (some chop small, some cut in halves, some slice- its up to you)
4. Place broth, potatoes, carrots, onions and mushrooms in a saucepan and bring to boil
5. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
6. Add peas to pan.
7. In a bowl, combine flour, seasoning and milk and stir until smooth
8. Slowly pour milk mixture into pan. Stirring constantly.
9. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens
10. Pour mixture into casserole dish and top with the crust. Put 4 slits in crust.
11. Bake 30-35 minutes

Black Bean and Avocado Salad


1 15oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Cup red bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 Cup red onion (chopped)
1 whole jalapeno pepper seeded (chopped)- optional
1 avocado (diced)
1/4 fresh cilantro (chopped)
4 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/2 Teaspoon salt
6 Cups greens


1. Place 6 ingredients in a bowl
2. In a separate bowl, whisk lime juice, olive oil and seasonings
3.Pour the mixture over the black bean mixture.
4. Pour amount desired over a bowl of greens

Portobello Green Bean Casserole

(located in the center of the plate)


4 to 6 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed and chopped in 1/2
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 cup vegan chicken flavored broth (I use Celifibr brand)
1 (8 ounce) container cream cheese substitute (I use Tofutti "Better Than Cream Cheese")
2 cups vegan creamy mushroom soup (I use Imagine "Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup")
2 tablespoons vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
garlic powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (6 ounce) container French fried onions


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook green beans for 6 minutes. Strain and set aside. In a pan, heat olive oil. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are semi soft and the onions are translucent.

2. In medium saucepan, bring vegan chicken-flavored broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream cheese substitute, creamy mushroom soup, vegan margarine, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (You should make it just a little on the salty side because the green beans and onions end up deflecting the saltiness.)

3. Stir until all the ingredients are blended together. In large bowl, mix sauce with onions and mushroom mixture. Add in green beans and toss until evenly mixed. Layer evenly in 9” x 13” pan.

4. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, take tinfoil off and top with French fried onions. Place back in oven and bake until the onions are browned and the casserole is bubbly, 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a bit, and enjoy!!!

Found on VegWeb

Friday, March 23, 2012

My long and beautiful HBAC

I know this is a vegan blog but I want to spread the word about my recent HBAC to encourage and inspire women that we ARE capable of having a natural childbirth (even if we are small) and just share the story of my youngest son and his entrance into the world.
Matthan's Birth Story:
55 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing.

Sunday,February 26th:
I was still pregnant (42w2d) and feeling very ready. I had walked a ton all weekend, taken some homeopathics and had been doing everything to try and help my little guy come out but nothing seemed to be working. That morning Steve went to breakfast with his brother and I started feeling like maybe today was the day (though I had said that many times before). We put Levi down for a nap, turned off the lights, did some bradley method breathing techniques, lit some candles and turned on my birth playlist. Sure enough, contractions started kicking in right under 5 minutes apart. I continued to walk through them and they continued coming. I called my midwife and she had already planned on coming over that day to do a check and see if I had made any progress. She checked and I was still only 2cm dilated but very effaced. His head was low but not low enough to swing the cervix forward and start dilation. I continued to labor through the day, contractions were around 3-4 minutes apart.
Late that night I made it to 6cm. MW and her helper decided to leave and let us sleep. Sleep was not going to happen and after they left, the pain got bad so I got in the tub to try and get some relief.

We called MW back really early because they were getting stronger and I was sure I had made some progress. 7cm. Completely disappointed. Labor was strong and painful and I was progressing so slow. It seemed my busy boy was just not getting in the right position. He kept moving and his head was cockeyed enough to not completely drop. All of Monday was basically like all of Sunday. I walked. Labored. Got checked. No progress. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Evening came and I had finally made it to 9cm. YAY! Progress. Continued to labor. Steve and I slept in Levi's twin sized bed (because he was in our king, of course haha) and got a tiny bit of sleep in between painful contractions.

Around 3am we called my friends Danielle (also our Birth Photographer) and Kyleigh and started to fill the tub. I was convinced I was fully dilated and ready to push. Got checked again to make sure and I was still 9cm. MW let me get in the tub anyways to bring some relief to the back pain and since they slowed down I decided to have a glass of wine and try to get some rest. We took a short nap. (Danielle and Kyleigh left). We talked about a transfer to the hospital and that completely stressed me out and I knew we had to get this baby out soon.
*I also have to add that through the entire labor, Baby's heart rate was perfect. He was active and we knew he was healthy and not stressed at all.

When we woke up, still no progress so we decided to break my water and MW tried helping his head turn while in there. After that, everything got extremely intense and kind of becomes a blur (although the whole thing is a blur for me after that many hours of no sleep).

About 2 or 3 hours later I was only to 9 1/2cm. Danielle was back by now and extremely encouraging but my MW was not as hopeful. She said she would leave for a bit, let me labor and when she came back we would probably need to transfer.
I decided to get in the tub.
(I know this is long but this is the best part of the story!!!)

At this point... steve and I both were ready for transfer. I was convinced I couldnt do it and Steve didn't even know how to encourage me anymore. Luckily I had Danielle and as soon as Kyleigh walked in, everything changed. They encouraged me and coached me through the strong contractions. Steve got in the tub with me and not long after, I started feeling pressure. Danielle and Kyleigh both checked me and helped push the last bit of cervix up over his head while I did small pushes. They could feel him coming down further and further and even though they kept telling me I was so close, I was so exhausted and still didn't think I could do it. At that point, the only thing keeping me from transfering was the thought of having to drive in the car (and the thought of another c-section gave me a massive panic attack). Steve was in the tub with me and was still thinking we would need to transfer until he checked me and felt his head. Then something kicked in and Steve got really excited and I would see the hope in his eyes.

We called MW and said to come because I was ready. I had already started pushing a little but when she walked in the door I said "I AM READY TO PUSH NOW!" and we began. She coached Steve through the whole thing and Steve basically delivered him. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I cant even describe everything I was feeling. I looked like I was on drugs, thats for sure. But once I reached down and felt that he had hair and was so close, I got really excited and felt a new amount of strength I had never felt.

*I have to add that Levi (almost 3) did AMAZING the entire time. He stayed home with us through it all. He got a little concerned during pushing but not bad at all. He stood on a stool next to me, held my hand, even counted while I pushed a few times. He watched it all and I remember watching his face while he watched his little brother come out and it was the sweetest thing ever.

So... I pushed for a total of 2 hours and that was that. He came out. I held him and just kept saying "I did it! I did it!" He was calm, pinked up really quickly and was making the cutest little sounds. He was covered in vernix. Ive never seen so much on a baby! He was so slippery.
As soon as he came out, Levi started singing his 3 special songs to him (that he sang to me every morning of the pregnancy): You are my sunshine, twinkle twinkle little star and rockabye baby. So so so sweet.

And that was that. I didn't tear. I delivered the placenta fine. He was healthy. Levi was happy. Everything was perfect.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done for sure but the most rewarding. I am so happy how it turned out. I couldnt have done it without Steve, Danielle and Kyleigh and I cherish those moments we had alone because they are what got me through. And then I had my baby in my arms. Not only did I have a beautiful, successful homebirth... but an HBAC which made it so incredible. AND he was bigger than Levi (who I had by C-section 3 years ago because "there was no way he would fit.")
And I have to say, my husband is an absolute rockstar. He was supportive and helpful the entire time! He was just as exhausted as me and was such a champ. He's pretty proud of himself too. It was so cool that he was the one to touch our son first and help him out of my body... so special to me. He is my best friend in the whole world and I coulnd't have imagined doing any of it without him! I am a very blessed wife.
I did it.
I (5'1 with small hips and SPD) had a great sized baby completely natural, at home. I hope this is encouraging to moms, especially those who have been told they are too small to have babies. After I had him I said "suck it, Dr.____" hahaha. Too bad we didnt get that on video ;)

Matthan Ezekiel Jude
14 3/4 head

HBACs ARE possible. I hope you find this encouraging and if you have ever been told you are too small to deliver a baby naturally or that once you've had a c-section, you cannot successfully have a vaginal birth I hope that you do the research and learn the facts.
It was a huge decision for us to plan our HBAC. It was not taken lightly. My husband and I did lots of research for years and prayed A LOT about our decision.
Don't let people discourage you or scare you into a hospital birth if that's not what you want. Learn the facts. In the end, it is your baby, your choice and you have to live with your decision.

Women's bodies have near-perfect knowledge of childbirth; it's when their brains get involved that things can go wrong. -Peggy Vincent