Hey all!  You know you’re a blogger when life gets in the way and you aren’t able to push out posts as often as you want to.  So much has been taking up my time, namely Fiverr orders, that even our townhouse’s cleanliness has been a little bit neglected (oops!).

 

So, what's my excuse...?

Not only have I been extremely busy with ‘work’, but we actually moved from Maine to West Virginia back in June!  We sold our first house, most of what we owned, and trucked the rest 18 hours South.  Crazy, right?

west virginia

Jonathan and I have one ultimate dream: to live on a homestead and be as self sufficient as is possible.  We decided on this state for a number of reasons, mainly its affordability and great growing season.  Winter exists down here, but it’s nowhere near as depressing as Maine!

west virginia
All packed up and ready for the long haul.

Jonathan and I were both born and raised in Maine, but we’ve never really felt one-hundred percent attached.  Don’t get me wrong, Maine is a stunningly beautiful part of the country, and I look forward to visiting family there next year.  It just has the kind of weather that makes you hate the outdoors for half the year – as they say in Maine, there are two seasons: winter and construction.

west virginia

The important thing is that we’re extremely happy here.  Everyone is amazingly friendly, and we love the regional grocery stores, harvest and farm markets, libraries, and parks.  West Virginia really is an amazing state to be a resident of, and we can’t wait to start looking for a more permanent home once our lease is up.

Farewell Fitness Finesse

My fitness fervor took an unfortunate back seat during all of these shenanigans, and I’ll be the first to admit that I jumped back on the dairy train for comfort (no meat though, it’s been more than a year!).

If anyone needed a kick in the pants recently, it was me.  I actually went to the doctor for the first time here in our city, and my CHOLESTEROL WAS SLIGHTLY ELEVATED.

Youch.

Goodbye dairy.  Hello whole foods, am I right?

As if that wasn’t enough, I’m also back up to 150 pounds.  *facepalm*  I was down to 138 if you’ll recall… Time to get back on the wagon, or in my case, bike.

Don’t reach for that “just one bite” of cheese.  There’s a reason we can’t resist – it’s scientifically proven to be addictive!

Some Vegan Meal Ideas

I don’t have official recipes for any of these, but I just wanted to give a quick summary of how I put meals together.  A lot of new vegetarians/vegans have a hard time thinking outside the “meat as protein” box.  And while I’ve had my fair share of dairy slips, I know how to substitute properly.

vegan meal idea
This is actually the first meal I made here in West Virginia! I made instant pot Italian seasoned lentils and baked potato. The lentil mixture had canned tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Topped everything with nooch, of course.
vegan meal idea
Instant pot baked beans (caramelized onions, garlic, brown sugar, smoked paprika, thyme, black pepper, vegetable stock) over white rice. Steamed veggies on the side.
vegan meal idea
The lentils make another appearance here, alongside some mashed potatoes. Every time I make a protein in the instant pot, I make double and freeze what doesn't make it into a meal prep container.
vegan meal idea
You might recognize the soup as my amazing sweet potato corn chowder (click the image to see recipe)! Here I also have some fresh heirloom tomato and sauteed brussel sprouts.
vegan meal idea
This was an amazing dinner. I used big portabella mushrooms to make a balsamic mushroom 'sauce'. I added onions, garlic, vegetable broth, and almond milk, then reduced it until it became a thick sauce. I also have a baked potato (noticing a theme here?), green beans, and a small slice of bread.
vegan meal idea
I did a wacky thing here and combined my leftover heavenly mushroom sauce with sliced brussel sprouts for lunch the next day. A light meal to get me through till dinner.
vegan meal idea
This was just a quick stir fry over rice. I added toasted tempeh for protein here, just to up the satiety of my dinner.
vegan meal idea
I LOVE risotto. It's so versatile, especially for vegans. No one ever thinks of it though, because traditionally, risotto is loaded with chicken stock, heavy cream, and CHEESE. Not my risottos, though. I like to use a teaspoon of hummus or tahini to take these dishes over the top. Here I had a sun dried tomato risotto with carrots, corn, and brussel sprouts. Click on the image for my mushroom risotto recipe - it's TO DIE FOR.
vegan meal idea
Ah the good 'ole burrito bowl. This is just a bowl of rice with avocado, lime spritzed corn, salsa, and some of a pot of chili beans I made in the instant pot.
vegan meal idea
I think one of my favorite combinations on the planet is sauerkraut and garlic mashed potatoes. There's just something about the tartness of the kraut with the creaminess of potatoes. I also have a Gardein black bean burger here with some green beans.
Here's my dinner from last night! This was a quick stir fry with veggies I had on hand, served with barley. The stir fry from this sauce was made with soy sauce and sweet Thai chili sauce. I added a teaspoon of tahini to the sauce to help it marry with the nutty barley (I'm chef smart like that).

That’s all for now, lovelies!  If you don’t already, follow my blog with the subscribe fields to your right.  I try to post useful content for moms, vegans, and people struggling with life in general.  It’s a big world out there, and sometimes I just feel so mismatched to our current society – it’s too fast paced and money-oriented for me.

Hey, maybe I’m just an old soul, who knows.  We can’t wait to start our homestead, that’s for sure.

 

Until next time,

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