Sunday, December 6, 2009

My first very vegan Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving went extremely well and I'm very happy that I was able to have a completely animal free Thanksgiving. Here are some pictures of the tasty food me and Den had for Thanksgiving. First up was the "meat" and after we debated whether to have tofurkey or some other option, we decide to buy a celebration field roast stuffed with apples, mushroom, and butternut squash. We both really enjoyed the celebration roast and although it was small, we were able to make it stretch for four days by slicing it thin. Next, Den made some vegan mashed potatoes by combing plain soymilk, water, earth balance margarine and a box of mashed potato flakes. While the potatoes we're think like the mashed potatoes I grew up with, they were pretty good.
Here is a picture of all the delicious food we had for Thanksgiving. In addition to the celebration roast and mashed potatoes were mixed vegetables, brown rice, cranberry sauce, and potato rolls.
After we stuffed our stomachs with Thanksgiving food, it was on to dessert. Considering that I'm not much of a cook, we bought two vegan pies when we went to Whole Foods.This is a picture of the vegan peach pie.
This is a picture of the vegan pumpkin pie right out of the oven. All of the food was a great way to end Thanksgiving Day and helped me to realize that it is possible to have a completely vegan holiday meal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vegan Eats in Asheville, North Carolina

It's been a while since I've written but I'm back with pictures of the fantastic food I had while on a girl's trip to Asheville, North Carolina with my best friend Keesha. We had a wonderful time touring the Biltmore Estate and we also enjoyed eating great food. Although Keesha isn't vegan or even vegetarian, she was a good sport by eating at a vegan restaurant with me. This first pic shows what I ate when we went to Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria which was a spinach salad and a sub with teriyaki marinated tofu, olives, mushrooms, and atichoke hearts. It was healthy as well as really tasty.
This next picture shows what I ate when we went to Rosetta's Kitchen, a great vegan restaurant in Asheville. I ordered a portobello swiss melt without the swiss, added avocado slices had some sweet potato fries and a side of vegan mac and cheese which was made with nutritional yeast. It was really yummy!
After my sandwich, I was still hungry and craving something sweet so I decided to have a slice of their chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. After my first bite of the cake I felt like I died and went to vegan cake heaven!

The next day, we went to tour the Biltmore Estate and afterwards, we went shopping in downtown Asheville.I had read online about this great chocolate shop called French Broad Chocolate Lounge that had vegan truffles. We stopped by there and I bought this chocolate balsamic truffle.

Mmmmmmm.....this was one tasty truffle! Here's a shot right after I bit into the chocolatey goodness. I would normally pair chocolate and balsamic vingear together but it was surprisingly good. Great trip and great food-you can't beat that!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vegan Gumbo or there's a first time for everything

Tonight Den decided to try his hand at making vegan gumbo. In order to make the gumbo, he used Bayouland Magic gumbo mix and then he added okra, carrots, corn, green beans and cut up pieces of tofukey tomato and basil vegan bratwurst. Although I've never eaten gumbo before, since Den usually makes great meals, I decided to give the gumbo a try. Here's a picture of the gumbo right after Den combined all of theigredients.
Below is a picture of the gumbo served on a bed of white rice. Overall, I liked the gumbo because it was spicy but not too hot. While the gumbo was good, I didn't really like the okra in the gumbo at all, the taste and texture didn't really feel quite right in my mouth.Other than the okra, the gumbo was great.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Assorted vegan goodies

Just wanted to write about some of the yummy food that I've had lately, both homemade and store bought. First up is a wonderful vegan pizza that Den made for dinner a couple of weeks ago. This pizza was made on a wheat crust using Ragu spaghetti sauce and topped with mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts and onions. Not only was it simple to make, it tasted fantastic!

Next is a loaf of vegan banana bread that I bought at Garden Cove ( a local natural foods store). It's always comforting to go to a store that as vegan options as well as nut-free options (since Den is allergic). The loaf was small in appearance but big on taste.

Tonight for dinner we had baked potatoes with Lightlife Smart BBQ and Tofutti Sour Cream-healthy and tasty. So there it is-three tasty vegan goodies I've have lately.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thanksgiving in September

Lately, I've been thinking about what to eat for Thanksgiving and other holidays since I've recently became a vegan. While shopping at Foods for Life, a local natural foods store, we saw Tofurkey with stuffing and I decide to test it out. Den cooked the Tofurkey,yams and wild rice. Overall, Tofurky gets my seal of approval. It tasted good and I can definitely see myself having it for holiday dinners.

Some of the best chinese food in southern California

Recently, me and Den had to take a short trip to California to take care of some business. While we were tere, we had the opportunity to visit our favorite Chinese restuarant, Dragon House. What I love about Dragon House is that the restuarant has a separate vegetarian menu. Here's some pictures of the yummy food that we had when we went there. Just so you don't think me and Den were pigging, it was actually Me, Den, Den's Dad and Den's stepmom eating all this food at Dragon House.

This is a picture of Dragon House's Vegetarian Beef and Broccoli

The bowl up top contains vegetarian orange chicken while the bowl on the bottom contains vegetarian sweet and sour chicken.Although it was vegetarian, I asked the server whether or not it was vegan friendly and he said it was. Their food is always something I look forward to when we visit California.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chocolate temptation then Chinese chicken & broccoli

Athough I've beeen doing pretty good with my new vegan lifestyle, there are some areas I'm still weak in such as when co-workers bring in chocolate candy from a trip overseas. I've had my moment of weakness and almost gave in but in the end, I stood my ground. Yay me! I'm doing my best to take it one day at a time and reassure myself that by not eating eggs or dairy, I am helping animals and not hurting them.

Last night Den made a tasty dinner of Chinese chicken and broccoli however since money's kinda tight right now, he cut up some veggie chicken nuggets rather than using Morningstar chike strips and instead of using regular white rice, he used a bag of pre-mixed rice and vegatables. Surprisingly, it was very filling and I told him he'll definitely have to make this again.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day weekend road trip

Today Den,my mom and I decided to take a road trip to Scottsboro and visit the Unclaimed Baggage Center. Unclaimed Baggage is a cool store in Scottsboro, Alabama where you can buy items that were found in luggage people have lost at airports. Every once in a while, you can find something good. Although I didn't find anything over there today, we did find some tasty food at an outdoor market a block away from the store so we went there after visiting Unclaimed Baggage.

Mom+ Funnel Cake=Love
The first booth we stopped at was selling funnel cakes and both me and Den were shocked when my mom told us she'd never had one before. While she was initially cautious about eating it (she thought the powdered sugar was a bit too much), she couldn't get enough of it.
The Pita of Yumminess
After we finished up the funnel cake, we decided that we need to find some lunch with a little more substance. Fortunately for us not too far from the funnel cake booth was a booth selling Greek food like gyros, homemade potato chips and kebabs. At that booth, I was able to pick up a veggie gyro or what I've nicknamed "the pita of yumminess" which you can see below. The veggie gyro has peppers, whole olives, cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes which have been simmering in their own juices all day. It was extremely tasty!

Vegan Nachos for Dinner is a fiesta on my plate
After ending our road trip and taking mom home, it was dinner time for us and Den decided to make nachos. While he did miss cheese and sour cream at first, since he had other toppings like tomatoes,onions, olives, salsa and guacamole, he got over it and we had a great dinner. After all this eating today,I'm stuffed-happy but stuffed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Great food all day

Today I went out to lunch at Rosie's Mexican Cantina with my co-workers in honor of his birthday. Considering I hadn't been there before, I wanted to make sure I had a dairy free lunch and I'm happy I was able to eat out with friends and not feel out of place. The veggie fajitas were very filling since it was made up of carrots,mushrooms, onions, peppers, rice, beans and tortillas.

Tonight for Dinner, Den decided to make me a childhood favorite of his as which was a reuben. Den had some convincing to do since the only thing I knew about a reuben was that the sandwich usually had sauerkraut on it and I can't stand the smell of sauerkraut. Den made the rubens by using Lightlife turkey,red wine vinegar and fajita onions and peppers. This was really good, especially once I put it on a hoagie roll and spread on some veganaise which is my new favorite sandwich spread.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My new Red Robin favorite-the Natural Burger

Me and Den were debating where to go out for dinner tonight and finally decided on Red Robin. Since I'm still new to veganism, I was kind stuck in reference to what choices were available for me to eat there. It's weird how I'm noticing the small things on menus now that I used to ignore before;it's like every Red Robin burger had either cheese, mayo, or both.

Initially I was going to order what I usually get which is the California Chicken Burger (subbed with Boca Burger) and request it without the cheese, mayo or bacon. After thinking it over for a few minutes, both Den ad I agreed that this would making the order process harder than it needed to be and suggested that I order the Natural Burger and add a side of guacamole since I love guacamole so much. Reading the contents of the Natural Burger on the menu, it seemed like a safe bet considering it contained neither cheese or mayo so I ordered it (subbed with Boca Burger) and hoped for the best.

Once my natural burger arrived,I immediately put all of fixings on the burger and took a big bite. Oh My God,it was fantastic! This was the perfect cure for my burger & fries craving and I'm definitely gonna order this the next time we eat at Red Robin. I was happy that had the option of either french fries or melon and that I was able to go out to eat with my husband and still leave the restaurant feeling full but not overly stuffed.

Monday, August 31, 2009

My new Sunday Breakfast Favorite

Usually, me and Den head over to Steak'n Shake for breakfast on Sunday
but yesterday, he decided to make a vegan verison of our favorite scrambled eggs with veggies that we always eat when we go over there. He went to Kroger and but the MorningStar Farms Sausage crumbles, some tofu, and olives then scrambled it all together. This was really tasty, especially with bagels.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vegan Veggie Pizzas

Last night my husband made some delish vegan veggie pizzas. For pizza crust, we went to Walmart & found some wheat olive and rosemary foccaica rolls and used Newman's Marinara spaghetti sauce as a base. After that, Den piled it high with olives, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. Yummy!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On Becoming Vegan

Hi, my name is Tamara and I've recently decided to become vegan. While I have enjoyed a life long love affair with dairy and eggs, I realize now that by eating these things, I am being a hypocritical vegetarian by avoiding meat but still eating products which hurts cows. I have went online and researched egg and dairy alternatives and I look forward to trying these new foods. I'm planning to start on Monday and am looking forward to feeling better about my relationship with the Earth and animals. I'm grateful that my husband is so understanding (which could be because he was raised vegetarian) but it's interesting how many items I'm finding that have egg or dairy ingedients in the ingredients. If you'd like to read more about me, visit my old blog at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I graduated!

It's been too long since I've last written so I'll keep it brief-I graduated with my Masters in Library Information Studies from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Yay Me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's almost over.....almost

Time has really flown by and I'm happy to report that I'm now in my last semester of grad school at UA. I'm taking an online class for the month of June and then my last class will run from July until a few days before graduation. Although had other plans, I'm so not sweating this, I'm just glad I'll still be able to graduate by the deadline I had set for myself. I've come such a long way from my undergrad years and I'm so excited to almost be done. My only regret is that out of all the classes I've taken, I have all A's and two B's;true one of the B's was in a doctoral level class but if you know me, you know how am able anything I do,I strive for prefection and get pissed if I fall short. Oh well.....I'll just keep working hard and get ready to move to the next level in my professional life (whatever that may be).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One semester to go-bring on the roadblocks

I realize it's been a while since I've written; school and work have been busy so now I've finally gotten a chance to come up for some air.

Now that that's out of the, I'm all excited because I'm down to my last two classes, I waited for the classes I wanted to open up after the distance learners had a chance to register then last night, I get an email which says the following:

We are writing to let you know that you were permitted to enroll in the Interim Class LS 590-903 with Dr. Laurie Bonnici. The class was to have been capped at 20, but due to a clerical error more permits were issued than the limited enrollment. First, students in the distance education cohorts that began their studies in 2005, 2006, and 2007 were to be allowed into the class. Unfortunately some students who began in fall 2008 were permitted to register as were on-campus students (who should have had the class opened to them only after all DE students had registered.) Dr. Aversa is asking that if you receive this message, that you drop LS 590-903 (CRN#34535) and select another course. It is her intention to offer this class again next academic year so that you will have the opportunity to take it.

We appreciate your compliance with this request and apologize for the inconvenience.

What the deuce!

So you're telling me that although I waited and woke up early to register for this class, now I'm being forced to drop it because too many students who are distance education can't get it? This blows! As you can imagine, I was none too please with this new development and promptly email Dr. Aversa (the head of the library school) about my situation. I expressed that these are my last two classes, I've already made arrangements at work and now you're telling me I have to push back my goal to graduate in August? I called to speak at Dr. Averesa today and talked to Cherry Quinn (the sender of the email). She explained the situation to her and she responded with this email:

I understand that you called Ms. Quinn regarding the problem that we had with the enrollment in LS 590-903 in Interim term. I regret that this error was made, but unfortunately permits were issued to far too many students than we could have permitted in this brief interim class. Since this class is an online class we have limited its enrollment to members of the online cohorts only at this time. I believe Ms. Quinn explained what happened.

There are a number of courses still available for summer term, so I invite you to register for one of them. If you have not done so, you could also consider a directed study or an internship since you are so near the end of your studies here. Please note that LS 590-903 is not a required course for completion of the MLIS program, so it is not required for graduation.

If you would like to look for an internship or a directed research, please contact me and we’ll discuss the possibilities.

I email her back and ask about directed study possibilities as well as taking another online class. I want to make sure I won't get booted out of this second class like I got booted out of this one.

What to do.....what to do.....guess I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. Nothing and I mean nothing will stop me from graduating in August.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy New Year and school complaints

Happy New Year!!! A new year is here....which makes me that much closer to having my Master's degree. Currently, I'm taking LS 502:Research Methods and LS 590:Virtual Reference. Although the classes are pretty interesting, it sucks because my Reasearch Methods class meets in Tuscalossa every Monday morning. I In addition, I don't like to drive long distances so I've been having Den drive me there on Sunday then he has to drive back to Huntsville early to get to work on time. I am a bad wife....I should stop being a baby and drive myself to school. The problem with this is that it's not my driving I worry about, it's other people that make me nervous. Well, guess we'll wait and see how this plays out. Needless to say, I'm definitely making sure me last two classes in the summer will be online.

Celebrating 12 years of marriage!

It seems like only yesterday that my and my hubby got marriage, not twelve years ago. This past Sunday, we celebrated 12 years of marriage ...