When it comes to eating I don’t have any major “rules”. I prefer to eat foods that are nutrient dense and nourish my body but there are times when I like to enjoy some pizza, fried foods and the occasional sweet. If you’re looking for nourishing bowl inspiration I post a new one on my Instagram or IG stories most days but if you are looking for something that is delicious but not so healthy read on.
When I was a kid growing up in Vermont (and not plant-based) we used to go to a spot called Charlie’s Red Hots. They had this hot dog that was basically the Vermont version of a Michigan dog. To be honest I don’t remember what it taste like 20+ years later but I thought I would go ahead and attempt to recreate this legendary hot dog but make it a bit healthier and plant-based. Of course it would only be appropriate to make this dog when my parents where in town to give it a try.
- 1 package of Lightlife Veggie Dogs
- 1 package of Hot Dog Buns (New England style if you can)
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Medium Onion, diced
- 1 package Veggie Ground Round
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 a cube of Not-Beef Boullion
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Yellow Mustard
- Dijon Mustard
- Saute onions over medium-high in a bit of oil until translucent.
- Stir in one package of veggie ground round and add all remaining ingredients.
- Cook over medium until heated through and thickened.
- Heat veggie dogs per package directions.
- Toast your bun, add a veggie dog and top with sauce. Add on some yellow mustard (optional).
Okay, but lets get to it how were they? They were so delicious! Although they would have been better with a New England hot dog bun but the West Coast just doesn’t seem to stock the best kind of hot dog buns. Also these are best enjoyed with a great Vermont beer.
What did my meat eating, Charlie’s Red Hots loving parents think? Well as soon as my mom got home to Vermont she sent about 12 text messages desperately requesting that I get this recipe post live so they could make the sauce at home.
Psst: If you need a great place to stay on the Oregon Coast my friend Lisa’s #beachvibescottage is perfect– you can find it on airbnb plus use this affiliate link and get $40 to travel.
While I would love for this post to be sponsored because my love for Thrive Market is more of an addiction it is NOT however if you’d like to save some $$ you can use my affiliate link and it helps me out.
Thrive Market Spices // I love the Thrive Market spices. While they are close in price to to the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s brands I think the quality is superior. I personally love the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and Italian seasoning.
Braggs Nutritional Yeast // This is a staple in our house and the price for the bottle is less than most grocery stores. I will say you can get nooch cheaper in bulk and that is the route I usually go but every so often I add one of these to my Thrive Market cart.
Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice // This is by far my favorite rice of all time. I love the quality, the taste and that it has some of the lowest arsenic levels (yes most all rice contains some level of arsenic – read more here). This is also one of the cheapest prices I have found for this rice that isn’t a sale or bulk.
Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk // I have tried so many different coconut milks and this one is my favorite by far.
Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles // Have you tried these? They are so good! I always have these on hand for quick and easy lunches and dinners. I use them to make salads, stir fry and add them to soups.
Thrive Market Extra Virgin Olive Oil // I first tried this olive oil because it was a free with purchase item (a perk of Thrive is that they are constantly offering free product with a minimum purchase). I liked the olive oil so much that I continued to purchase it once I ran out of my free bottle.
Thrive Market Beans // We eat so many beans in this house so we always have them on hand. There are a few varieties that I really enjoy and Thrive Market’s line is a new favorite of mine.
Annie’s Naturals Dijon Mustard // I will happily declare this the best dijon mustard – ever. I can’t get enough of it so I am constantly ordering it because not only is it the best but this is the best price. I use this mustard on sandwiches, in sauces, in dressings and for dipping.
Thrive Market Coconut Aminos // Thrive has a few coconut aminos options and I have tried them all and like them all but I tend to most often buy their brand. I love to use this in place of soy sauce or tamari.
Thrive Market Sprouted Quinoa // I think you can’t be plant-based without having quinoa on hand at all times.
Edison Grainery // Edison is a brand that I had no idea about until I ordered their red lentils off Thrive Market. Since then I have ordered their lentils and other beans and legumes countless times because they are the best. They also have the best gluten free pasta which unfortunately you can’t get on Thrive Market – hopefully they add it to the site soon!
What are your pantry staples?
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We have made it a tradition that on each of our children’s birthdays we will do a new activity or visit somewhere new. This year for Alder’s birthday we started our morning with coffee and pastries at Jet Black Coffee. Then it was on to the Circuit Bouldering gym for a quick climbing session before heading to our main event – bowling at Punch Bowl Social.
Neil and I had visited Punch Bowl Social last year on a date night but our visit was quick and we had no idea that it had three bowling areas, tons of games and karaoke rooms as well as some really delicious food. We were all pretty excited to spend the afternoon bowling and eating especially since this was the first time Edith and Alder had ever been bowling.
We opted to eat at our lane because there was no way we were going to get the kids to sit down and eat when they knew that bowling was just a few feet away. So we ordered our food and drinks and after we convincing Alder that the lightest ball would be best for him even though it was blue (his favorite colour at the moment) we got down to bowling.
One thing that I love about Punch Bowl Social bowling is that it’s by the hour versus by the game. This means we can bowl as many games as we can in our allotted time and we aren’t paying for each string. With two kids however we were lucky to make it through one game but either way still fun. I will note however if you are into some competitive bowling these lanes are not PBA approved but are just for gathering with friends for a fun time.
Not interested in bowling? Don’t worry Punch Bowl Social is worth visiting for the food alone. All the food is made in house and is not the normal greasy, heated up food you find at most bowling alleys. This food is top notch and so are the drinks. I am still dreaming about the Superfood Grain Bowl it was legitimately one of the best things I ate all summer.
The Superfood Grain Bowl has crispy farro (something I need to learn how to make), a bunch of great veggies and an incredible miso ginger vinaigrette. We also ordered the Black Eyed Pea Hummus which was was another amazing dish and we ordered the Boiled Peanuts which I was a bit skeptical about and the first few were hard to get down but the more I ate the more I liked them and even our five-year-old, Edith, couldn’t get enough. For drinks we went with a few of their homemade sodas which were all delicious but my favorite was the Season’s Soda.
After we finished up bowling we headed home to get ready for our mini birthday BBQ with friends. Since we had a big morning out we kept it simple with homemade slaw, chips, store bought cake (Whole Foods has the best vegan chocolate cake BTW) and veggie dogs.
We kept our veggie dogs super simple with just a bit of Sir Kensigton mustard and ketchup but this weekend we will be jazzing up our dogs and I just might have a recipe or two to share with you next week.
What birthday traditions do you have? What is your favorite birthday memory? I have to say birthdays for me are kind of a sore subject. I love celebrating others birthdays but I find that for some reason mine just never seems to be great. Oh well. I do have a great memory though when I was 13 or 14 my parents took me and a few friends to New Hampshire to go shopping and stay in a hotel.
Is it doughnuts or donuts? Whatever it is I love them. Powdered, cinnamon sugar, jelly filled, blueberry basil – I love them all. What I don’t love is the sugar hangover that they often give me so they are a treat that I have a few times a year, usually when we bring out of town guests to Blue Star Donuts.
But I have good news! Amazing news! Delicious news!
I have found a doughnut that tastes great, free of refined sugar and you can eat as many as you want without getting that awful sugar hangover. You might even call them healthy or at least healthier plus they are covered in some amazing chocolate that it is Loving Earth’s vegan chocolate bars are free of sugar, dairy, gluten and grain.
Banana Bread Donuts
Inspired by The Little Plantation
Note: I used a scale to weigh my flour, sugar and chocolate chips based on the measurements from the original recipe. Pssst these doughnuts are also gluten free!
FOR THE DONUTS
- 185g gluten-free pastry flour (I used Jovial**)
- ⅔ tsp baking powder
- 75g coconut sugar
- 35g vegan chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (+ extra for greasing the doughnut tin)
- 1.5 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 4.5 tablespoons water
- 1.5 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup vanilla vegan yogurt
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1 bar Loving Earth Mylk Chocolate chocolate
- Flaked Coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the circles of your doughnut pan with coconut oil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder and sugar until nicely combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix in well. Set aside.
- combine the ground flax seeds with the water in a small bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Over a very low heat, melt the coconut oil.
- In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, the mashed bananas, the yogurt and the water/flax seed mixture; stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe circles of dough into the prepared doughnut pan. Spread evenly. Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze by melting the chocolate in a double boiler or simply a bowl placed over a pan with water that’s been gently brought to the boil. Do not microwave the chocolate or it may burn.
- Once the donuts have cooled down, dip them in the chocolate glaze and top with coconut chips.
I recommend eating these donuts right away or store them in the fridge. If you and/or your family is anything like me and mine these won’t last more than a day anyways.
**Found on ThriveMarket.com – receive 25% off your first order via my link.
Naming our babies has to be one of the most stressful parts of pregnancy. Our first time around we were in the mindset that we needed to make a decision before they arrived and we quickly settled on Henri Frances if Edith was to be a boy. As for a girl we had three names and stressed about deciding on which we would use until 36 weeks when we finally decided to stop stressing and wait to meet our baby; I also was convinced Edith would be a boy and that we wouldn’t use any of the names anyway. Well Edith was born and we immediately knew she would be Edith no question about it and the other two names were never considered again (in case you’re curious the other names were Evelyn and Everly.)
Enter baby #2 and we were back at square one. We were over our two girls names we didn’t use and the playgroups were saturated with Henry/Henri’s so that name was out for us. So what did we do? We spent 9 months creating lists of names that were remote possibilities. We would each create a list, exchange the list and cross of any that we disliked and then merge or lists together. We then would return to the list ever few weeks to cross off and add names. We ultimately decided just to wait to meet our baby. I can’t remember what names made our list but I’ll tell you one that didn’t – Alder Grey. Yeah that’s right all that list making and we decided on a name that wasn’t even on our list. Actually a name that 18 months earlier Neil had given me a hard ‘NO’ on when I said that would be a nice name and then he of all people was the one to say “what about Alder?”
Now onto baby #3. We once again were back at square one. We didn’t have any baby names that we were really into or holding on to from previous pregnancies (except for a few that were on my list only – I’ll share below). Our list this last time seemed to be miles long made up of any name that sparked even the slightest interest. We had a few that stood out a bit more than others – like Ingrid – but ultimately there were not many that really spoke to us. Again we decided to wait to meet baby and after she arrived and we spent time with her we knew Ingrid Rose was the perfect name for her.
Okay on to the real reason you are here all those names that made our list that we didn’t use. Okay maybe not all because who has time for that (if you do want to know message me) but here are our top 10….or rather my top 10 because at least two of these names are ones that made my individual list ever baby and Neil vetoed every time.
- Basil – makes my list every time and Neil uses his veto every time.
- Stella – another that has been on the list every time and Neil again uses his power of the veto. Fun fact Stella and Basil is the names of my great-great maternal grandmother and her brother.
As you can see we go for names that are older sounding, botanical and Scandinavian. As I write this I realize that that is exactly what we did as well – Edith (older), Alder (botanical) and Ingrid (Scandinavian).
What names made your list that you won’t be using? What name(s) did your partner veto? I could write an entire post of the names that Neil vetoed (there were a ton). Ultimately I’m happy with all the names we picked and who knows maybe a few will end up being used for the future four pawed friends we plan to adopt.
This post was sponsored by EverlyWell through my partnership with Fit Approach. As always all opinions and test results are my own.Our sweet baby girl has finally arrived and so has the return to breastfeeding. It also means having to be mindful of what I eat and drink, how hydrated I am and that I am getting enough nutrients to support my body and my growing babes.
That being said I have had my concerns about a few things including my DHA levels. It’s estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in DHA and I feared that due to my diet and lack of supplementing that I would be deficient in DHA.
But what is DHA?
- DHA is a vital Omega 3 Fatty Acid for a baby’s health as they grow during their first 2 years.
- DHA is crucial in a child’s early development, in particular for their visual acuity and cognitive development
What does the EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA Kit Do?
- Measures a Mother’s DHA Levels.
- Identifies whether or not your own diet is sufficient to supply your breast milk with a DHA level within the recommended, healthy range for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
To take the test it was fairly easy all that is required is a few drops of breast milk, which I easily collected in my manual breast pump (this one is a serious game changer). Place a few drops of the breast milk on a sample card, let it dry briefly and then package it up and return it to be tested. Results are then emailed to you in just a few short days.
So what did my results say?
Let’s just say I have a bit of work to do. I will be having my yearly physically in about three months and I will be making sure to ask to have my DHA levels retested once I have increased my daily DHA intake.
So how does a vegan get DHA?
- Supplements. I personally take (err….I’m getting back to) a vegan omega that includes DHA.
- Algae. I know not the most appetizing of sources but these days they come in powdered form and can easily be added to a smoothie.
Would I recommend the test?
I found the test to be really eye opening. I knew that my levels would probably be on the lower side due to my plant based diet but I had no idea they would be so incredibly low. This test has encouraged me to talk more with my doctor about ways I can increase my DHA levels as well as give me the kick in the butt I needed to get back to taking my supplements.
Receive 15% off your EverlyWell Breast Milk DHA kit with code: RWT15