I’m so happy to share this personal journey with you of eating a plant-based diet that’s good for our health, the planet, and animals! Because I feel we’re kindred spirits, I decided to chat with you a bit about what’s going on inside my life outside of the kitchen. Here’s my second Coffee Klatch.
October is going by quickly and Fall is definitely working its way through the beautiful trees of Colorado. It’s a lovely time of the year and there are even a few fall flowers in bloom.
The only downside for me is that the time will be changing right after Halloween on November 7th and before we know it, it’ll be dark by 5:00 p.m. Alas, because we spend five months of the year without daylight savings, I always try to find reasons to love this time of year.
And, there’s lots to be thankful for such as the great fall food choices… think squashes like butternut, pumpkin, acorn, or one of my favorites, Kabocha. There’s fall apples and cozy soups and the holidays and football if you’re into that. Then there’s wearing sweaters and boots and skiing. Yes, I’m thankful.
Our Dog Abby
I mentioned Abby last month. She’s our 11-year-old German Shephard, Golden Retriever pup, and is a great source of joy for us on a daily basis. Always the alert guard dog, she is also a sweetheart and loves cuddles and pets. Unfortunately, she developed an eye infection recently. Her eye was red and angry for a week before the antibiotics kicked in.
She’s back to chasing the ball this week and she’s crazy for it. Luckily there’s a park with lots of room for romping just 1/2 mile down the path from our house. We are so fortunate to have a multipurpose path right next to our home that accommodates bicycles and walkers, alike. It goes for a mile one way before hitting a street and then starts up again and wanders near South Boulder Creek before hitting the Rec Center.
Off-Road Multiuse Paths
Boulder is known for its amazing array of off-road paths because the city fathers had the forethought to, #1, set aside open land around the city, and #2, develop these multiuse paths some 50 years ago. Today there are 84 miles of them.
Being in nature just makes you feel better, have you noticed this? There’s some evidence that spending time in nature is like taking a natural antidepressant. If you’ve been too busy to spend time outdoors, take some time for yourself soon!
Andrew’s Birthday and Dining Out
My son, Andrew has a birthday coming soon just after Halloween on November 1st and we’re planning to celebrate at a restaurant. Luckily he’s found an Indian restaurant with outside seating and vegan options. It’ll be exciting to try this new place. It looks like they have vegan Dal Tadka which is yellow lentils with cumin, ginger, onion, and tomatoes. There’s also a vegetable dish with a light coconut curry sauce and a fresh vegetable dish with red chili masala. There’s Eggplant Bhartha with mashed garlic and tomatoes, and Tofu Portobello Kadhai with portobello mushroom, ginger, coriander, onions, peppers, and tofu. Oh, yum… we’ll have no problem ordering.
It can be a challenge eating out if you’re strictly vegan and staying true to a whole food plant-based diet. Every restaurant adds more oil, salt, and sugar than is recommended. It might be worth it for a special occasion and you can always ask that less oil be used. Restaurants will often accommodate you if you ask for something vegan, too, if you don’t see anything on the menu. I’ve received meals that others at the table envied like a pasta dish with roasted veggies and a meatless red sauce.
I have an article with ten tips for dining out if you’re looking for more tips called Dining Out on a Plant-Based Diet.
It won’t be long before the holidays are here and we’re already making plans for Thanksgiving. I have several recipes that would work for you. You’ll find mashed potatoes (or potatoes + cauliflower) and gravy, stuffing, a cold raspberry jello salad (yes, it’s plant-based), vegan creamed spinach, and Brussels sprouts. There are also a couple of Thanksgiving recipe roundups if you’re looking for more inspiration and I’ll share more about those next month.
Then, comes our Christmas holiday celebration. Our gift-giving is much smaller than it used to be when the kids were young. One tradition I like to keep going is making handmade gifts. It started when I was still living with my parents. Some of my more recent gifts ideas have involved food such as my Low-Fat Granola. Then there was the year I gave a recipe for my Pumpkin Pancakes along with the dry ingredients, some canned pumpkin, and maple syrup. I sent a broccoli sprout-making kit last year with some broccoli seeds and the previous year I sent a PDF recipe book of my oil-free salad dressings. One year I made a duo of sugar scrub and lotion.
More on gift-giving in December.
Time for Cooking
I don’t know about you, but I spend a fair amount of time every day making meals but it helps when I prep items such as beans in the Instant Pot. This week we have pinto beans. We enjoy them in tacos with a little chopped red onion, cabbage or sprouts, salsa, and avocado. I’ll be making chili tonight which will be easy to pull together since the pinto beans are already made. I love them in soup or cold tossed in a salad or made into a quesadilla (no cheese)!
Working on Making Videos
Another project I’ve been working on this month is making more videos. I’m making these mostly for social media but hope to share them on the website, as well, and most will involve making recipes. 🙂
Helping Our Friends Change
I’m still working on my new program to help our friends and family start eating a plant-based diet. I’ll be offering a complete meal plan for a dinner party that includes the recipes and shopping list, and importantly, meal prep options to help make it easier on you. My first menu will be a Mexican theme. Almost everyone enjoys Mexican food. These recipes have been tested by my friends with great feedback so they should be great for you, too.
I’ll also include tips for how to discuss being plant-based during your dinner party if that’s something that interests you.
Would you like to throw a plant-based dinner party for your friends or family so they can taste just how delicious this way of eating can be? Let me know if I’m on the right track.
If you like this new Coffee Klatch series, I’d love to hear from you, and thanks for sharing this journey with me. I hope you’re doing well.