Venture Out - Cudjoe Key

Venture Out - Cudjoe Key
Fox at Quail Run

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Almost a “toad”

Wesley Chapel, Florida

Our new truck is still not ready to be towed behind the motor home.  It appears the drive-shaft disconnect part  did not fit, so we will have to wait for another one to be sent.

It’s no big deal, except for the fact that we had to drive 40 miles over to Clearwater to pick the truck up.  We didn’t want to leave it there for who knows how long.    They did get the Air Force One braking system, and the tow bracket installed, as well as all the wiring done.  The only thing left to do is the driveshaft disconnect.

 

We are almost at the end of week number three of our new vegan lifestyle.    We have not missed meat or dairy products, and we are having no cravings because we can pretty much eat/graze all day long. 

We’ve been discovering more and more delicious foods that not only can we eat, but that we like to eat.  Who knew there was so much great food out there that didn’t have meat or dairy?  You get stuck in a rut of eating the same things over and over and there is so much variety out there if you just take the time to look.

 

Here are a few of our favorite new finds.

Blendtec Blender

We bit the bullet and bought a super high power  Blendtec blender .   It was not cheap,  at $360,  but we felt it would help us to eat more healthy fruits and vegetables.   They had a demo day at Sam’s club so we drove over to look at it in person.  We could have gotten it on Amazon for $369, but I wanted  to actually see it before we paid that much money.

There are basically two top blenders that have the power needed to do what we need it to do.  The Blendtec and the Vitamix.

There are numerous You Tube videos comparing the VitaMix blender to the Blendtec blender.

Which is better?   

Both have have big motors (although the motor in the  Blendtec is larger) , both are extremely powerful and both have a 7 year warranty.  Both are expensive.

The following is a video comparing the two blenders.  They both did a great job.

The reason we decided against the VitaMix,  was it’s size.   It’s over 20 inches tall, and wouldn’t fit under my kitchen cabinet.  I plan on keeping it on the counter top so that I’ll use it often.  The base is a lot larger and heavier too. Even though the Blentec is smaller and lighter weight, it gets the job done as well as the VitaMix.   For us, smaller is always better since we live  in a RV.    We also like that it has preprogrammed buttons for most uses.  If you want to make ice cream, you hit the ice cream button, soup, the soup button, or smoothie’s the smoothie button.  There are quite a few different buttons for whatever you want to make, plus a pulse button, where you can raise or lower the speed of the blades. 

We made a great soup in the Blendtec.  It’s so powerful that the friction actually heats things up if you blend it long enough (90 whole seconds).  So I made a quick and easy soup with:  tomatoes, onion, cilantro, taco seasoning mix, avocado, garlic, and jalapeno.  You hit the “soup” button, it does it’s thing automatically,  and when it stops,  you throw in a handful of corn chips, hit pulse and it chops the corn chips up into the hot soup.  Yummy!   The soup is thick, spicy and delicious.  When you’re done, you put a little water and a drop of dish soap into the blender, hit pulse a few times and it washes itself!

I also tried a blended drink last night for happy hour.   I’m happy to report that it makes a great frozen mixed drink too!

I’ve gotten quite a few comments from people who are either already on a vegetarian/vegan diet, or who have thought about it.  Some of you said you were interested in changing your diet, but didn’t know how, or what to eat.

Here are a few of our favorite new food discoveries.  It’s really not too hard, if you just take a little time to discover all the wonderful plant based food that is out there.

 

Hummus is our new best friend.

Yummy.  It’s made with garbanzo/chick peas.  Doesn’t sound good, does it?

hummus

Trust me, it’s thick, creamy and delicious.  There are many flavors.  We like the spicy varieties.   We spread it on tortilla shells, for wraps, or bread or pita’s for sandwiches.  It’s also good as a dip for chips or veggies.  You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it.  It does have olive oil in it and many vegans try to stay away from oils.  We don’t.  We figure we’re doing very well the way we are right now.  Oils, salt and liquor are not taboo for us!

We like pizza but sometimes don’t want to take the time to make a home made pizza crust.  I don’t like the looks of any that I’ve seen in the stores.  We can no longer get the frozen pizzas at the grocery store, which were a staple in our old life.

We discovered these  brown rice tortilla shells in store demo.   We found them in the freezer section.  They are delicious as a pizza crust.  We throw one in the Nu-Wave for 5 minutes to crisp it up, then toss on the pizza ingredients and cook another 5 minutes of so.  So GOOD!

 

brown rice tortillas

 

One of the ingredients we put on our pizza is this “cheese”.

daiya mozzarella shreds

It is delicious and comes out gooey and creamy on your pizza.    We had been using an almond milk “cheese” until we tried this at the demo.  This is much better, although it looks ugly in the package.

Another thing we love are lentils.

lentils

I made tacos with them.  I just added some dry taco seasoning to some cooked lentils.  I put them on taco shells with lettuce/spinach and some hummus.  VERY good!

And finally….my cute kitten picture of the day.

Baxter

I guess Mr. Baxter is now a year old, so maybe he’s not a kitten anymore!

11 comments:

  1. Now that you have a great blender you can make your own hummus. It is one of our favorites too, I especially love roasted red pepper hummus that I make in our Vitamix. Hope the part arrives soon and you have your toad ready to go.

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  2. We enjoy the hummus, especially with the roasted peppers with hard garlic crackers:) That is quite an ordeal with getting the toad ready to go:(

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  3. You'll be making all kinds of hummus in your new BlendTec! Annie makes it from all sorts of beans; my favorite is black bean with sun-dried tomatoes. We can control the amount of oil that way, too. She uses a little tahini, but no extra oil.

    And, of commercial brands, Sabra is definitely the tastiest!

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  4. Thanks for all the great recipes. Even though I know we can't do the entire vegan eating right now, I can try out some of the recipes. I really like the Taco one.

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  5. Love Hummus with cut up Hickama or veggie sticks!

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  6. You sure will know the road over there to Clearwater well by the time you get that toad totally ready to go.

    Nice blender and info on eating Vegan. I'm going to do some juicing too. Especially in hot weather it's great for breakfast. It doesn't seem like it's been as long as it has since you first started. Way to go!

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  7. When we get to Florida this winter, can I hire you to cook up some samples? I gotta try this stuff before I can believe it tastes good, you know, kinda like taste testing in Costco's. Lentils just look so blah to me! I know I just have to buy some stuff and try it, but can't even get to the first step. And giving up dairy? Holy cow! I've got an entire vegetable bin in our fridge devoted to all kinds of cheese, and it's full all the time! I'm a cheese-a-holic! Sigh......

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  8. Glad you are enjoying the vegan way of nuttition. In an earlier comment I mentioned you need to learn about Indian food. Its not just "curry". The spices and pepper combinations are as varied as the cooks eho use them providing aeedome flavors to even the blandest fo veggies. Chickpeas, lentles, okra, potatoes and rice are staples. Check it out I think you will like it.

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  10. Karen, sorry about the double again. I promise I will stop trying to post comments from my tablet.. seems thats where the problem is.

    One other thing, when you get that new blender, you can very easily make your own hummus at a fraction of the cost of buying it in the store.

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  11. Thanks for the info on the Blendtec. I have a Vitamix and love it, but size and weight will be a consideration when we down-scale to a 5th wheel.

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