Saturday, March 12, 2011

30 Day Vegan - First Week

Well, we're most of the way through the first week of the 30 Day Vegan workshop. After starting out like gang busters last weekend, I backed off a bit on the vegan cooking mid-week. David was in Canada Wednesday through Friday, and since the kids haven't been entirely enthusiastic about some of the main dishes, I decided not to do a vegan dinner each night. We did a bit of grazing, and some left-overs, and the kids seemed to be fine with that.

But, Thursday night I made Lemon, Garlic and White Bean Pasta for myself (and the kids to have one bite of). And, because I'm incapable of following a recipe to the letter (even the first time I make it), I made a few substitutions:
  • Used cilantro instead of parsley (also because I had not parsley)
  • Used whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • Tossed in some pine nuts
  • Added a bit of garlic powder at the end for some extra garlic-y-ness

Wow! I really liked this dish! But, next time I will probably skip the zest and stick with just lemon juice. And, I think I overcooked the white beans when I pre-cooked them; I think the kids will like this better if the beans are a littler perter.

Served with a chunk of fresh-from-the-oven artisan bread:

I'm feeling pretty optomistic about our grocery bill for the first week. That first shopping trip on Sunday just about held us for most of the week, with just a few "here and there" items picked up mid-week. The overall bill was less than I usually spend on a week’s groceries, even though much of what I bought was “pantry” stocking of "specialty" items. I'm interested to see what this week's bill will be.

Also on Thursday we got a delivery, which Michael and Thomas immediately tore open and put together:

I decided to plant our garden from seed this year, so ordered this cute little mini-greenhouse to start seeds in. I also bought a book, since I've never started seeds before. The New Seed Starters Handbook also has a chapter on seed saving, which I've wanted to do, but have always been intimidated by.

Michael, of course, had to find some plants to put in the greenhouse:

I remembered to check our little avocado pits, changed their water, noticed one of them has a root sprout, and put them in the greenhouse this morning. Good think I checked on the other plants; the greenhouse had really heated up in the direct sun. I'll need to check it every day to be sure the plants don't overheat as the days warm up.
I’m trying not to let the “other projects” lingering in the back of my mind get to me too much while I'm spending more time in the kitchen. Most pressing are the garden and the impending moving in of Kit and family. The garden I’m behind on anyway since I don’t even have my seeds yet, so spreading out that project a bit won’t put me any further behind. I do, however want to finish mixing the upper beds this weekend, and take stock of the soil needs of the lower garden. And, I did get a start on “purging” in preparation for cohabitating; yesterday I went through my bedroom and closet, and the laundry room, resulting in two contractor bags of junk tossed to the curb. And, I managed to get ALL of the clean laundry folded and put away (there was A LOT piled up!). It has helped a lot that the kids have been pretty much self-directed in their learning this week (with a little nudging here and there), though I'm feeling a bit guilty about not reading to them as much as I would like. But, there's always next week.

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