Follow Your Heart VeganEgg 

I was never a big egg fan, but it was nice to be able to scramble up a quick breakfast on occasion. Especially for my son is screaming because he’s straving. But me being vegan and his egg allergy, not gonna happen anymore. 

Then I heard that Follow Your Heart was making vegan egg substitute product. And not just another egg replacer for baking, these could be used just like real beaten eggs. Scrambles, quiches, omelette, and baking! 

My first question was what the heck is it made of? Jack is also allergic to soy and cashews, two very common sources of vegan protein. I asked on their Facebook page and they quickly answered it was soy and nut free!  It’s main ingredient is an algae dervitive, algal

My mom asked what she could make for me and jack instead of scrambled eggs for Christmas Brunch, so I decided to order some finally. Luckily a local vegan grocery store in Portland Food Fight had some in stock, so they arrived just in time before Christmas morning. 

They come in cute little eggs cartons, but inside is really a package of powder. 

The instructions are easy and straightforward. In a nutshell, add correct amount of powder to correct amount of water, get lumps out, cook in a hot pan until firm. The key is to do what the directions say (duh). Too much water and they come out rubbery. Too much powder and they come out clumpy. And they are dead serious about letting it cook the full 6-8 minutes in an already hot pan. Otherwise it’s just goo that has no resemblance in texture to eggs. 


So how are they? I can happily say good! The texture is totally on point. Not too slimy, not to dense.  Fluffy and satisfying feel.  The taste is pretty close, but just a tiny bit off. I can’t really explain how it’s off…it’s like lacking that umami taste satisfaction. But I added a little sea salt and paprika before cooking and it helped a lot. 

 Did they pass the toddler test? Kinda. But Jack was more excited for the ham and maple syrup. He took a bite of the scramble, didn’t hate it but didn’t love it. 

I think this is a great product, I plan on buying it again and hope it becomes available in stores soon. A great vegan protein source that is soy-free. I’m going to try baking with it soon so look out for that recipe.  

 But For now, I highly suggest some over toast with salsa and hot sauce for breakfast. 


Holiday Lentil Loaf 

What does a vegan who is nursing a toddler who’s allergic to soy, wheat, and cashews have for Thanksgiving? Lentils! I actually had this last year too before Jack developed his food allergies, because it’s that good!

I posted a lentil loaf recipe before, and I still make that one often. It’s more of a meatloaf than a holiday dinner.

I should have posted this last week, but life got in the way. My apologies! But this is good for any holiday as a poluty substitute. I actually assembled the loaf the night before and baked it the next day. It is very allergy-friendly and tastes great! Even my  meat-loving husband took several bites!

Holiday Lentil Loaf IMG_0439
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups brown lentils
2 carrots, chopped fine
2 stalls of celery, 
chopped fine
1/4 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, 
1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, 
1/4 tsp fresh sage, 
1/4 tsp thyme, minced
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 gluten-free flour
1/4 nutritional yeast
1/2 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

Cook lentils according to directions on the package.

Cook lentils according to the directions on the package.

While those are cooking, sautée the carrots, celery, and onions in a little bit of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Then remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, add all remaining ingriedents, expect the salt and pepper, and whisk together.

Drain both the lentils and quinoa, add to a large mixing bowl.

Add the sautée vegetables and mix well.

Add the liquid mixture and also mix well.

Spray a roasting pan or baking sheet with cooking spray. Form a loaf on the pan with the lentil mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until heated through and a light crust forms.

Cut off a slice and top with some vegan gravy. Enjoy a taste of the holiday season everyone can enjoy!

Edamame Wasabi Dip

IMG_5340You know when you are standing in the grocery store staring at all the options, and nothing really looks good? You pick up one thing, and think “Meh” or “I always get this…” That was me last week. I picked up my favorite brand of hummus and was like nah. Then I looked at the guacamole, and was still like nah…. I went through all the dips and wasn’t feeling any of them. So I walked away from the case sad, my dip-needs unfulfilled.

I walked down the freezer and randomly threw a bag of frozen edamame it in the cart. I like to put them in fried rice. Then when I was in the bean aisle, I saw chickpeas and thought about making my own hummus recipe. As I set the can in the cart, I saw the frozen bag. Then I randomly imagined a creamy but spicy edamame dip! So here we are with this post….

Edamame Wasabi DipIMG_5343
 16 oz bag frozen shelled edamame
 2 tbs tahini paste
 1 tbs red miso paste
 1 clove of garlic, minced
 1 tps ginger paste
 Wasabi powder, to taste
 Salt, to taste

Steam or microwave the frozen edamame until thawed and cooked. Let it cool to slightly above room temperature.

In a food processor, add the bag of edamame. Pulse a few times to get it started.

Then add all ingredients except the wasabi powder and salt. Blend until smooth.

Add the wasabi powder until desired hotness is reached. I don’t want to give you a set amount because everyone is different. But I would not go too much more than a 1/2 tsp if you like it mild. Likewise, I would not go over a 2 tbs if you like it hot. Just a bit, pulse and taste until you get to what you want.

Add salt as needed.

Spread into a serving dish, and top with a little extra wasabi and miso if you wish.

Let it sit for at least an hour, then enjoy!


I suggest serving with some cucumber sticks, pita chips, and carrots.


TVP Pulled Pork Sandwiches


What do you when your whole family wants pulled pork sandwiches and you’re vegan? Pull out for textured vegetable protein (TVP) and veganaise! A lovely dinner to welcome the start of summer, which is right around the corner.

This recipe is super easy. Can be pulled together in minutes—way easier than making pulled pork! But it tastes just as good as if it had been cooked hours and hours.

This recipes makes 4 sandwiches.

TVP Pulled Pork Sandwiches
 1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein
 7/8 cup of boiling water
 1 medium onion, dicedIMG_3995
 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 tbs flax oil
1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
 2 cups shredded cabbage 
(or a bag of coleslaw vegetables)
 1/2 cup Veganaise
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
 Squeeze of lemon juice
 Salt and pepper, to taste
Additional BBQ, to taste
4 hamburger buns or rolls

In a large bowl, add the TVP and pour the boiling water. Add the 1/4 cup BBQ, flax oil, and liquid amigos. Stir together well.  Set aside for 15 minutes

In another large bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients—except the BBQ and bun— to make the coleslaw. Cover and place in the fridge to chill.

Once the TVP is rehydrated, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and TVP mixture to the skillet. Cook until the onions are translucent and the liquid is mostly gone.

Add additional BBQ to the TVP if you like for more flavor.

Time to assemble! Place a big scoop of the TVP mixture on the bottom bun, top with a big scoop of your chilled coleslaw and top with the rest of the bun.


Sweet, tangy, and satisfying! No reason you have to feel left out this summer at a BBQ.

Giants Baseball Baby Shower

This past Saturday, my sister-in-law and best friend threw me a baby shower. They did an amazing job! We split the cost between the three of us, which I really recommend doing so you can get all the stuff you want and no one person is bitter about the financial burden. Plus it is so much easier to plan when you have two other people to bounce ideas of off and ask for help when you need it. We were all also insanely busy, so we did most of the planning via Pintrest and Facebook chat. One of us would pin something, then message the others about how to do it. You can check out the board we made here.

So let’s start from the beginning…

Order your own from Etsy!

We kept with the Giants Baseball theme from the nursery.These are the super cute custom invitations my sister-in-law picked out.

She also included this insert, a request to bring a book instead of a card. Michael and I both value learning and education, and plan of reading him to from the start. Plus the notes written in them are something he can cherish forever.

My sister-in-law’s friend reserved the clubhouse at her place. It was a good sized room with a small kitchen. Lovely park and lawn surrounding it too. Not to mention the weather was GORGEOUS that day—75 and sunny.

The decorations were simple, but very cute. Orange and cream table clothes on sale from Party City. Giants memorabilia and signs that we borrowed from my brother-in-law’s collection. Streamers left over from another party and banners I found on sale from Party City as well.

Kamille made center pieces made from simple vases filled with marbles (both from Dollar Tree) and flowers. Peanuts sprinkled around the vase. Giant’s flag and an orange ribbon to tie it all together. Oh, and the baseball coin banks (Dollar Tree) with Big League Chew gum pops and mini Baby Ruths. Very creative on her part.

For the guest books, Amanda painted black and orange balloons on canvas and sealed it with clear acrylic spray.  The guests sign on the balloons. We plan on hanging it in the nursery. It came out so cute! Also in this picture is the adorable Giants diaper cake that Kamille’s mother-in-law (that’s confusing…) made for me. Thank you Lori, I love the little plushy guy on the top!

For food, we had hot dogs, veggie dogs, nachos with salsa and guacamole, hummus/spinach dip with pita bread, salad, potato salad, and a veggie platter. And no, not everything was vegan, but that okay. As much as I wish the whole world was vegan, it’s just unrealistic. So we made food that people would enjoy and would match the theme. And I was totally happy with my veggie dogs, veggies platter, hummus, and salsa.

There was also a mimosa bar—obviously not for the pregnant lady. We thought it was a way for people to relax without going overboard on booze. There was also tropical punch for those who didn’t want to or couldn’t drink. And yes, that is an picture of my husband when he was 3 in a bow tie. See the cute little napkin bow ties Amanda made to match the picture?

Amanda made these adorable cupcakes in the shape of a baseball. They were a big hit (ha, baseball pun).

And my other sister-in-law brought me a vegan cake! The frosting was so creamy and the cake was just rich enough without going too crazy. I loved it, thank you Kristina!

My prediction for when Jack comes.

We played some shower games too, three of which were printables I got for free off Pinterest. First was Baby Product Price is Right (Michael and I both grew up watching the show with our grandparents so it seemed fitting). People guessed the price of the products (like a pack of diapers) and whoever was closest to the actual total on my master sheet won. Then “Whose Traits Does Mommy Want,” where everyone guesses if want things like my eyes or Michael’s eyes for Jack. Then was Baby Wishes and Predictions, where people wrote their wishes for Jack and made predictions for when he will come. The winner was the person who guessed the closest to my predictions.

Then was the relay race. Each table needed four participants. The first person eats a jar of nasty baby food, the second chugs a bottle of juice, the third swaddles a stuffed animal, and the last recites a nursery rhyme. Everyone was hesitant at the eating/chugging part at first, but the game ended up being hilarious once we got volunteers. The table with the aunties/grandmas totally dominated the game!

Me in the orange stripped dress. 35 weeks, I swear my
bump looks smaller in pictures than it feels to me. 

Then I opened gifts. We got a lot of Giants stuff (of course), some duck themed stuff from my fellow Oregon Ducks, and a lot of other super cute baby clothes and toys. I was truly floored by everyone’s generosity. I didn’t grow up with my extended family round and I moved a bit as a kid so I don’t have many life-long friends. So I appreciate how warm and welcoming Michael’s friends and family have been to me. And of course, I appreciate the generosity from my own friends and family. Jack is one very loved baby already!

All the gifts in the nursery the next day. Several people chipped
 in for the glider, I wanted to cry when I saw it. So sweet. 

I didn’t plan on learning a lesson from my shower, but I did. It’s not money or things that make life wonderful, it’s love. I wanted my guests to share in Michael’s and my love/joy of having a baby—as much as we could afford to do so. And in returned they showed us love that we didn’t even imagine. I plan on teaching this lesson to Jack.

A big thank-you to Amanda and Kamille, you are are amazing Aunties already. And thank-you Griselda for reserving your clubhouse and helping set-up and take down. Thank you to everyone who came, I hope you had as much fun as I did.

I hope this shows you can have the shower of your dreams, without breaking the bank. And helps you understand what true love is too!

Also check out my post of Michael’s Man Shower.

How to throw a "Man Shower"

This past Saturday was my baby shower. Check out the details here. I asked Michael if he wanted to attend my shower or do a co-shower of some sorts. He didn’t seem that big on either idea,  you know the whole “baby showers are for girls” things. But I wanted to do something special for him. He’s has taken such good care of me my  pregnancy so far that he deserved some fun. So I asked if he just wanted low-key party with his boys at our house. He loved that idea—mainly because it meant he could drink beer and eat all the BBQ meats I never make him.

So nothing about this post is particularly vegan. But if you have a vegan man in your life, no reason why you can’t take the general idea and substitute in vegan foods. Like my seitan ribs, some tofurky brats, my German potato salad, and some fresh grilled veggies…man,  that sounds good—can it be summer now? 
His party was at the same time as my shower.We kept the invitations simple—if a women invited to my shower had a guy Michael wanted to invite, we stuck this insert in her formal invitation. Otherwise, he just emailed them a date and time to show up. Men don’t usually need or care about fancy invites, so we didn’t waste money on them. 
Just realized our orange serape matches the theme…
I didn’t put up too many decorations because, once again, men don’t usually notice stuff like that. Just a few  black and orange table clothes, a banner, and a few Giants signs we had already. I didn’t spend too much time on decorating (unlike for my baby shower). Just make it look nice and walk away. No fuss. 
Appetizers when you first walked in the door.
Simple decorations to set the theme. 
I set-up the “appetizers” table before I left for my shower. Veggie platter, nachos, chips, potato salad, chocolate-covered pretzel rods, and baseball cupcakes (rods and cupcakes made by my very talented best friend). 
This was SO cute, even the boys didn’t
want to take a cupcake and ruin it.
I left the meat for Michael to cook. We borrowed our brother-in-law’s smoker to do some ribs. He barbecued some turkey dogs (a lot of his friends are Indian and don’t eat beef), hot links, and buffalo wings. Don’t have pictures of all that because I wasn’t there….and to be honest I don’t like taking picture of meat seeing as I am vegan….
MLB plates were on sale at Party City, couldn’t resist. 
Drinks consisted of tropical punch (one can of passion orange guava juice and a liter of sprite, watered down to taste with ice), and of course beer. 
Giants themed pretzel rods made my my BFF.
The boys just ate, drank, played dominoes, listened to music, and watched sports on TV. Nothing fancy but they all had a good time. After my baby shower was over, some of the women came over to join them. Yeah, that’s right—my baby shower had an after party! Some of the boys ordered the Canelo vs. Angulo fight on pay-per-view, which kept the party going till around 11 PM. Even though I was tired, it was nice to see friends and family enjoying themselves so I didn’t mind. 
So, if your man cringes at the idea of going to your baby shower, I highly suggest throwing him a man shower instead. Yes, you are the one doing all the hard working making the baby, but dads need some love and appreciation too.
Here is my advice on how to throw a successful man shower:
  • Keep it simple. Men don’t usually like complicated or elaborate themes or events without any women around. 
  • Simple decorations set the mood, without your man’s friends thinking his wife is totally controlling him. 
  • Serve good, basic foods with lots of flavor. This is not the time try something from your molecular gastronomy cookbook. Serve some of your husband’s favorites along with some party staples like chips and dip.
  • Don’t make the drinks too complicated either. Some good beers or good spirits should please everyone. 
  • Don’t forget the non-alcoholic drinks like punch, soda, or water as well. Not everyone drinks and you don’t want your guests getting too drunk. 
  • Give them optional games and activities. Men don’t usually want to play shower games like “Whose Features Does Mommy Want For Baby”, but once the food is gone they need something to keep from getting bored. Check to see if there is a game or event on TV they can watch. Set out cards, dominoes, or poker chips they can bust out when they feel competitive after a few drinks.But don’t set a schedule or force them into things. 
  • Let boys be boys. If you come home and see your husband did nothing the way you would have wanted, let it go. It’s his party. As long as he and his friends are having good time, that’s all that matters. 
    • Except when he forgets to make sure your cats are locked in the bedroom beforehand so they don’t get scared and run off during the party. You can give him the evil eye as your search for them high and low, in the dark, 9 months pregnant, and in a pretty dress! 

Childbirth Class and Labor & Delivery Again

On Friday I went in for my second third trimester doctors appointment. Once again, I had lower blood pressure and a higher pulse. So my doctor decided I should go to Labor and Delivery–again–to get it checked out. Michael and I tried to say I was fine, but she insisted. She misunderstood what I was saying about feeling dizzy/faint almost everyday and thought I was having heart palpitations.

Four hours later (car crash victim came in shortly after me and I had no problem letting her go first), I was told everything was fine. Jack was prefect and I had no signs of preterm labor. My pulse was a little high, but nothing bad. And my blood pressure was lower, but not bad either. They did an EKG on me and said my heart was perfect. They gave me some juice to drink before I left, and told me to just keep my blood sugar up and relax. Dizziness is normal and as long as I am not blacking out daily, I am okay.

Even my meat-eating husband loves Veggie Grill.
Seriously go try it! source

Michael bought me a nice lunch at Veggie Grill (I am SO in love with that place, the buffalo wings and  “fish” tacos are amazing!) and then took me home to rest. We are both kind of annoyed we had to go again since we both knew Jack and I were fine, but happy to know nothing major is wrong. Just exaggerated pregnancy symptoms. At least I got yummy food 🙂

Anyways, Saturday we had an all day childbirth class. My clinic offers free classes through the counselor so I didn’t want to sign up for another class, but Michael said he wanted it. Then he was not amused when I told him the class was 9 AM to 4 PM, and the same day as Giant’s Fanfest.

The class was offered for free through my hospital and taught by an OB nurse. Not all hospital offer free classes, but most offer something so I suggest checking it out.

If you know nothing about labor and delivery, I really suggest you take any class possible. They go over stuff that is vital knowledge to ensure you deliver safely and your baby is healthy. Having a baby is scary and hard work, it’s nice to have a heads up on could/will happen. I’ll spare you from going over every boring detail, but here is some stuff I thought was really important.

  • Unless you feel something is wrong, only go to the hospital when you are in active labor. This is usually when your contractions follow the regular pattern of 4-5 minutes a part. Until then, stay at home or go about your normal day if you can.
  • If you water breaks at anytime, go immediately to the hospital. Even if your contractions are irregular and far apart.
  • When your water breaks, remember TACO: T– time it happened, A-amount that came out, C–color of the fluid, O–odor of the fluid. Remember or document this information, and tell your doctor or nurse right away.
  • Remember that as painful as contractions can be, that are only temporary and will pass. Each one increases in intensity until it reaches a peak, then tapers off.
  • Rest as much as you can in between contractions. Focus on relaxing rather than waiting for the next one.
  • During active labor, try to change positions every 30-60 minutes (unless you can’t move because you had an epidural). This will keep encouraging your body and your baby to progress.
  • Urinate as often as you can, this not only alleviates pressure but will provide your baby with more room as it drops down further.
  • Try to stay as relaxed and comfortable as possible at all times.
  • If you decide you want an epidural or a shot of narcotics for pain management, it may take awhile to actually receive it. The doctor will usually check your cervix first, then call in the order or call the anesthesiologist. Then papers need to be signed and you will need to be prepped. Keep this in mind if you are considering pain medicine.
She also had this chart of positions to try during labor. I tried to get a better picture, but the lights in the room keep causing a glare. This is the best pic I could get:

I really like the squatting and sitting positions, especially with the ball. She recommend we try these positions now, that way we can get used to them and see what we like. Some of these are yoga poses that I happen to do almost every night anyways. I really suggest everyone do Cat/Cow pose, it feels so good to stretch out your back and alleviate the pressure from your baby while your belly hangs.

We have the hospital tour, a newborn care class, and an infant CPR class in the next weeks. I am looking forward to the hospital tour the most. Even though I have been to Labor and Delivery twice now, I only went to the Triage area. I have questions about what happens when you are actually admitted. Then I will be able to finalize my birth plan too.

Anyways, here is a bump shot I took a week and half ago. Another H&M top that I am so in love with.

29 weeks.

Here are some links for more info on labor: 
Signs of Labor, American Pregnancy Association
10 Ways to Relieve Labor Pain, Fit Pregnancy
Water Breaking During Pregnancy, What to Expect
Labor Positions, Mayo Clinic

Lentil Loaf

I must confess, I have a love for infomercials.  My new favorite is that meat loaf pan that supposed to make the perfect loaf every time.  I question if the thing works but it made me want a delicious lentil loaf.  Meat loaf was one of the few meat dishes I actually liked when I was growing up, so I was kind of skeptical to see if a lentil one would compare. And I was surprised that it did! Now I make them often. Savory, a litte “meaty” and if you make them right, they can even be a little juicy.

Lentils are a pulse (don’t worry, I had to look that up too) that is part of the legume family. Their seeds are little lens-shaped pods that are high in protein, vitamin B, and fiber. They were consumed by neolithic Middle Easterners as far back as 13,000 years ago. And, surprisingly Canada is the top producers of lentils today.

Now, don’t judge this dish until you try it. It does not taste like a big pile of bland beans at all. Cooked lentils have a slightly “meaty” texture, which is why I love to put them in pasta sauces to create a heartier dish. The key to making a good lentil loaf, just like a meat loaf, is getting the consistency right. Make sure there is enough liquid and gluten in the mixture so it will stick without being mushy.

Lentil Loaf
1 cup dried green lentils
1/2 tbs vegan butter
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tps Italian seasoning
2 tbs tomato paste (or ketchup works just fine)
1 tbs soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pick through the lentils and throw out the bad ones. Soak the lentils overnight.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the vegan butter.

Drain and rinse the lentils. Add to skillet. Cook until the lentils are slightly golden.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray (I didn’t use a loaf pan because I think it is a pain to remove the loaf in the end).

In a large bowl, add the cooked lentils, cooked oatmeal (it must be already cooked, it will help the load adhere together) and the onions. Mix together well. Mix in all remaining ingredients.

Shape into a loaf on the sheet pan. Feel free to top with ketchup like a meat loaf before you pop it in the oven if you like. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is a little golden.

I ate mine with some steamed green beans and some ketchup. So delicious. It makes nice leftovers the next day too. I think I will make a simple gravy for it tomorrow night, and maybe some mashed sweet potatoes.