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Quick Condo Update

Hello my friends! Just swooping in for a quick update on the progress over in condo-land… Here’s what my living room is looking like with some GORGEOUS new flooring:

condo update1

And the kitchen (which will have the same flooring as the living room) with all the new cabinets stacked up… and you can see we had started tearing out the old ones:

condo update2

And the focus of SO MUCH of my rage… the mirrors glued to the wall in my new bedroom. Which, thankfully, have finally come down. Now I just need to patch the wall and paint. Seriously people, the next time you’re like “Ooh, I should totally glue these mirrors to the wall!“, please don’t. 

condo update3

Gah! Looking at these pictures reminds me of how much work I still have to do. Trying to breathe and not freak out too much :)

I’d have to say though that the best part of my new place is the neighbors. Especially these guys (although the human neighbors are really nice too!):

condo update5

condo update4

Not pictured is the alpaca. What a strange looking creature he is! And no, I didn’t move to the country. I live in Denver… I just happen to live next door to these adorable creatures!

condo update6

When all the work is done I promise to do a proper before and after like I did with my last house! In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I make it through this without losing my mind, haha!

 

{ 5 comments }

Recipes That Didn’t Work (Yet!)

While I’m spending my long holiday weekend tearing out kitchen cabinets and painting like my life depends on it, I thought I’d share some of my failures not-yet-successes with you. 

Sometimes the universe is totally on your side and everything comes together perfectly. You have a bright idea for a new recipe, you grab the ingredients from your local market, the dish comes out deliciously and the pictures are drool-worthy. All that’s left is to write a witty post, right? Well… like I said, sometimes. More often, it’s a case of “This tastes pretty good but I think it could be better” or “WTH did I put so much garlic in here?” or my personal favorite “Eff it, I’ll just have wine for dinner!

Here are some of those… Recipes that haven’t quite worked out but that I’m not quite ready to give up on!

This one I am totally dedicated to completing! It’s a Tomato Soup with Israeli Couscous, Sweet Potatoes, and Sausage:

recipes didn't work6

Crunchy Spicy Chickpeas… these actually came out wonderfully, but I can’t find the notes I jotted down as I made them. Sheesh!

recipes didn't work3

Mmmmm Pretzels. They just weren’t chewy enough. And I burnt the bottoms. 

recipes didn't work2

This Cranberry Pumpkin Bread had great flavor, but kept turning out way too moist… plus the season for pumpkin and cranberry has kind of passed, so I think it’s on hold till next fall!

recipes didn't work1

This one is on hold too, for the same reason: Pumpkin Pancakes with Chocolate Chips. They just weren’t quite right. Super cute though!

recipes didn't work4

There was absolutely nothing wrong with this salsa except that it was thrown together on the fly with no notes taken at all… so I’ll have to recreate it!

recipes didn't work5

And finally, this monstrosity (and another reason you should be following me on Insta!): Cheesy Maple Sausage Waffle Breakfast Sandwich! It was too big… and needs a better name, haha!

recipes

Hope you all have a great weekend, and never let your “failures” in the kitchen get you down! 

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Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad | www.thatwasvegan.comHere’s a nice simple recipe for you. Warm Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad makes a perfect side dish, or a wonderful packed lunch! Healthy AND delicious! The peanut sauce is just a little spicy, with one little jalapeno diced up in there. 

The most time consuming part of this recipe is roasting the cauliflower, which – let’s be honest – isn’t that big of a deal because the oven is doing all the work for you. Basically you prep it, put it in the oven, then drink some wine. Then take it out and serve.

Additional wine is optional. 

Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

I just love the charred, roasted cauliflower. It’s so good! I haven’t been cooking much lately, and roasted veggies are really one of the things I miss the most. That, and homemade seitan, which I haven’t made in ages. 

I don’t miss wine though… I’ve had plenty of that <wink, wink>

Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

 Craving more cauli? Try some Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza, or maybe some Cauli Corn Chowder!

Oh, and about that news? I bought a condo! It needs a ton of work – paint, new flooring, new kitchen cabinets… but I love it. It’s perfect for the cockers and I, and once that kitchen is done it’ll be perfect for creating tons of yummy new vegan recipes! I promise to share plenty of before and after pictures :)


 

Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of cauliflower
  2. Non-stick spray or olive oil
  3. S&P
  4. 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  5. 1 small jalapeno, diced
  6. 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  7. 1/4 - 1/3 cup of your favorite pre-made peanut sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Squirt a little non stick spray (or oil) onto a baking sheet, and set aside.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and place in thin layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring after 15. Sprinkle with more S&P after you stir.
  3. Combine the beans, jalapeno, onion, and peanut sauce in a saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes to get the flavor all through. Combine with the cauliflower when its ready, stirring well so the sauce covers everything. Add S&P as needed. Serve warm!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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It’s a twofer! Oskar Blues Brewery and Spirit Hound Distillers, both in Lyons, Colorado! First up: the brewery…

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’m not gonna lie… Oskar’s doesn’t have a ton of vegan-friendly foods BUT if you’re going for the beer and need a bite too, they have you covered. They have a vegan Boca patty, and a couple salads that can be veganized.

Burger and fries…

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

The Summertime Salad, with no cheese. Ignore the dressing off to the side there. When I ordered they swore it was dairy-free… but it was white? And creamy? I don’t know… It was a really good salad though. I love candied walnuts.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

On the way home we passed Spirit Hound Distillers. Anyone who has even passed through Lyons on their way to Estes Park or RMNP has seen this sign…

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

They have a great tasting room, friendly bartenders who are happy to serve up the samples… and the best part? Their milky drinks are all made with So Delicious coconut milk!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

What brought us to Lyons on this particular day, you might be asking? We were bored… wanted to go somewhere new, and figured a community so devastated by the 2013 floods could use our dollars. So off we went.

Here are just a few shots I took from the car as we drove by. It’s shocking how long it takes to rebuild (altho, these were taken last year). 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Oskar Blues Brewery & Spirit Hound Distillers | www.thatwasvegan.com

 Want more Denver-area restaurant reviews? Check out my Mile High Vegan Eats page!

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Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos

Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

Tacos, tacos, tacos. I can never get enough tacos. And during these frigid winter months what better to fill them with than roasted veggies and hot green chilies. And agave, for just a hint of sweet. My Vegan Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos truly have it all!

Also, if I ever start my own band, it’s gonna be called Tacos, tacos, tacos.

Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

The sweet and spicy combination is so delicious. You could actually sub in any veggies you have on hand, but personally I think sweet potatoes are the greatest invention since cocker spaniels, so that’s what I went with. The yellow squash just soaked in all that green chile flavor like they were made for each other!

Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

Look at those beautiful veggies! And if you saw my What I Eat post, then you’re not surprised at all to see that I served them with a hefty side salad.

Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

Want more taco recipes?


 

Agave-Green Chile Roasted Veggie Tacos
Yields 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small sweet potato
  2. 1 small yellow squash
  3. 1/2 sweet onion
  4. Zest of 1 lime, plus 2 tablespoons lime juice
  5. 1 cup diced, roasted green chilies
  6. 1/2 cup agave
  7. 1 teaspoon salt, plus pepper
  8. 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  9. 6 taco shells
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray baking sheet with non-stick.
  2. Uniformly dice the veggies- except for the onion, you can make those a little smaller. Arrange in single layer on the baking sheet and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the lime juice and zest, green chilies, agave and salt. Pour half the mixture into a small blender and puree for 5-10 seconds. Pour back into the mixing bowl.
  4. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the sauce, and pour the rest over the veggies, stirring a bit so they're completely covered, yet still in a single layer. Give 'em a couple cracks of black pepper and put in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, then bake another 5 minutes.
  5. Heat the chickpeas in a small saucepan over low/medium heat with the reserved sauce, about 5 minutes until warmed through. Combine with the veggies in the taco shells and enjoy!
Notes
  1. I found these to be SO flavorful I didn't need any additional toppings, just a nice side salad!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Reading with Intention in 2015 (February)

Reading with Intention 2/15 | www.thatwasvegan.com

I learned something interesting in this first month of Reading with Intention, and that is: I can’t actually predict what or how much I’m going to read. Which is okay! This isn’t about doing my homework to get a passing grade. This is really just about tracking what I read, and trying to make sure I’m mindful about my choices, as opposed to just reading whatever happens to be lying around.

Also, I joined Goodreads, based on your suggestions. Here’s my Reading with Intention bookshelf, and please feel free to friend me!

So, last month I set out to read five books. And I did read five, just not the five I thought I would! Funny how that works. Here’s what I read:

  • The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless … This book left me pretty speechless. It was so well written and moving and heartbreaking. If you read Into The Wild and want to learn more of the story, especially about the abusive childhood Chris survived, I can’t recommend this book enough. Unless childhood domestic abuse is a trigger for you, then this might be a tough read. It inspired me to re-read Into The Wild, so you’ll see that on my list soon!
  • The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle … I’ve read two other books by Boyle (When the Killing is Done and The Women) and I have no idea why I haven’t read more of his work. But anyway, this book takes a brilliant look at real-life racism. It’s frightening at times how recognizable some of the characters are, and reading what the undocumented Mexican family goes through is heart-wrenching and eye opening. Obviously I never thought people who came across the border illegally have it easy (far from it!), but this daily struggle just to stay alive was shocking. Really great book. My girl Angie recommended it. She does a lot of posts about books she reads, among other things.
  • 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill … These stories weren’t all scary, which wasn’t what I expected, but I enjoyed them all. Two in particular really stood out for me: Pop Art and Best New Horror. And for totally different reasons- these two short stories couldn’t have been more different (and thanks to Reia for the Joe Hill recommendation!)
  • My Story by Elizabeth Smart … What this young girl went through was beyond horrifying, and the fact that she has rebounded in such a way is truly amazing. It’s difficult not to compare yourself and wonder if you’d have her strength.  This book was very religious, and that part didn’t speak to me at all, but overall a good read!
  • The Feminist and the Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story … There is no eloquent way to say how much I hated this book. I couldn’t even finish it, I was so sickened by it.  I slogged my way through her self-loathing, and her acceptance of his emotional abuse. Not even just acceptance. I’d say she was bragging about it, how he was a real man because he played mind games and controlled her. WTF!? She finally lost me while defending his moronic opinion that animals don’t feel fear or any emotion at all. The cowboy is a shitbag, that’s all I can say. I’m just glad I got this piece of garbage from the library, because it would be ME feeling self-loathing if I had given these idiots any royalty money.

Books I set out to read but haven’t quite finished yet?

I’m leaving them off the list for February because a bunch of other books just popped up at the library, but they’ll be back on my list soon!


 

Books for February 2015

 

  1.  West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan … O’Nan is hands-down my favorite fiction writer. I discovered him sort of on accident, via a book about the Red Sox he co-wrote with his BFF Stephen King. I was interested, so I picked up Wish You Were Here which is my favorite novel, one I re-read each summer. Anyway, this one is about the last three years of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life. Not a topic I was necessarily interested in, but it just came out and as an avid fan of O’Nan, well, it was a must-read.
  2. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran … Can’t even remember who recommended this to me, but it’s supposed to be good! It’s described as “…The Bell Jar – written by Rizzo from Grease”. Sounds like something I’ll enjoy.
  3. Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado … I read an excerpt on Slate and found it interesting and enlightening. It’s an up-close look at the life of the poor in our country, but the author is humorous, honest, and I’m really looking forward to reading this and gaining a better understanding of how so many people in our country live.
  4. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam … A book about prioritizing your tasks to maximize your time. I need this.
  5. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters … A novel about a 1920’s  widow forced to take lodgers to make ends meet. I haven’t read anything by Waters before, but she has a huge following and her books are always being recommended to me.

 So yah, that’s my list for this month. Have any recommendations for me? PLEASE SHARE! And tell us what you’re reading right now!

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Philly Cheese Steak. Yes, Really.

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak | www.thatwasvegan.comIt’s nearly impossible for me to look at these pictures without swearing. As in “Holy F*&%ing Gawd I want these right now!” It’s also damn hard not to do a gloaty little dance and brag about how we vegans can still enjoy all the same foods, only better and more compassionate! I mean, doesn’t this Vegan Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich prove that??

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak | www.thatwasvegan.com

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak | www.thatwasvegan.com

Not only insanely stuff-your-face-worthy, they’re pretty easy to make too. Especially if you’re like me and keep a couple loaves of delicious homemade seitan in the freezer at all times! Then all you have to do is saute some peppers and onions, whip up a delicious Daiya cheese sauce, and dinner is served!

Or lunch. Like I said, these are easy and aren’t going to take up much time. They’ll taste like they did though! All that flavorful seitan, veggies, just a hint of heat… smothered in creamy cheese sauce! 

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak | www.thatwasvegan.com

I don’t think I had ever eaten an actual Philly cheese steak until I moved to CO in 2006. I was never a big meat eater and this particular sandwich seemed pretty greasy and not terribly appetizing. The vegan version though? WONDERFUL! You should make it this weekend!

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak | www.thatwasvegan.com

 


 

Vegan Philly Cheese Steak
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large onion, sliced
  2. 1 1/2 bell peppers, any color, sliced
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  4. 2 loaves homemade seitan, thinly sliced
  5. 1 tablespoon oil for frying
  6. 1 teaspoon steak seasoning
  7. Salt
  8. 2 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  9. 8 ounces Daiya cheddar
  10. 1/4 cup almond milk
  11. 4 soft rolls, warmed
Sandwich
  1. Water saute the onion and bell peppers over medium heat with the crushed red pepper, 8-10 minutes, until soft. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When it's hot, add the seitan strips. Flip after 3-4 minutes and add the worcestershire sauce and the steak seasoning, along with a dash of salt if desired. When the seitan is about as crisp as you want it, add the peppers and onions back in just to warm them.
Cheese Sauce
  1. Combine the Daiya and almond milk together in a small pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Add the seitan and peppers to the warm buns, then top with the cheese sauce, about a quarter on each. Add other toppings as desired (jalapenos, diced tomatoes, whatever!). Serve immediately.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Vegan Superbowl Appetizers

Holy crap the Superbowl snuck up on me. I didn’t even have time to pull together a super-handy-awesome round-up of recipes for you <sad face>. So, here are a few quick ideas so at least I haven’t let you down completely!

Super Crazy Delicious Mexican Layer Dip:

The Best Mexican Layer Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

 BLPTS:

BLPT: Bacone, Lettuce, Pickles and Tomatoes

 Mozzarella Sticks. Yes!

Vegan Mozzarella Sticks

 Spicy Grape Jelly Meatballs:

Spicy-Grape Jelly Meatballs #vegan

 Beer Cheese Nachos:

Vegan Daiya Beer Cheese Nachos

 Bloomin’ Onion Bread

Vegan Bloomin' Onion Bread

 Loaded Baked Potato Dip (This stuff is REDONK!)

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

 And finally, this new favorite- Bacon Corn Dip:

Creamy Bacon Corn Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

 You can check out all my appetizer recipes here, and no matter what you serve I hope you all have a wonderfully delicious gameday, and of course…  GO PATS

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Can’t Get Enough Queso!

Can't Get Enough Queso | www.thatwasvegan.comHello Vegan Queso

Yep, it’s another redo that I’ve been dying to share, especially since Daiya shared my queso on their Dairy Free Dip list. You really should go check out all those delicious dips!

Vegan Queso | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Sooo much meaty cheesy goodness in there, and it’s all cruelty-free! Can I get three cheers for delicious vegan food!?

Okay, go check out the recipe!

Vegan Queso | www.thatwasvegan.com

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Creamy Bacon Corn Dip

Creamy Bacon Corn Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

If you’re planning to watch a football game or awards show anytime soon, or even just settling in with a good book, you’re gonna want to make this Creamy Vegan Bacon Corn Dip! I’m not sure I even need to try and sell you on this – I feel like these pictures will do that for me!

Creamy Bacon Corn Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

Need more encouragement? Just imagine: Cream cheese, bacon, sweet corn, crispy jalapenos and bell peppers… Yum! I enjoyed my dip with Fritos, and that would be my recommendation to you. Hard to imagine any other chip would be as perfectly suited to scooping up this magical deliciousness!

Creamy Bacon Corn Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

Creamy Bacon Corn Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

 I made this a few weeks back for a Broncos game, and maybe I’ll make it again this Sunday when my REAL team plays. Unless I make my Spicy Grape Jelly Meatballs… or my Vegan Queso… or my Loaded Baked Potato dip!  Can’t go wrong either way. Go Pats!!

Creamy Bacon Corn Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

 


Creamy Bacon Corn Dip
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices vegan bacon
  2. Salt
  3. 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  4. 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  5. 1 diced jalapeno
  6. 12 oz frozen sweet corn
  7. 1 tablespoon almond milk
  8. 4 oz vegan cream cheese
  9. 1 teaspoon sugar
  10. 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Dice the bacon, then fry the bacon per with a few spritzes of non-stick spray over medium heat with a pinch of salt, 4-5 minutes, flipping once. Set aside.
  2. Add the veggies to the same pan with 1-2 tablespoons water and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to end up with no water left in the pan.
  3. Add the milk, cream cheese, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir until melted. Spoon into serving bowl and top with bacon and green onions.
Adapted from Damn Delicious
Adapted from Damn Delicious
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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