I hate to start a new relationship by cheating, but here I am so here we are. I have pictures of food, but all super easy and some pre-packaged. I promise to get better.
This is Parker's favorite quick breakfast; Nature's Path Apple Cinnamon instant oatmeal, organic ground flax seeds, organic blackstrap molasses, and frozen organic wild blueberries. Usually, he asked for fresh slices of apples too, but we didn't have any apples. Served in his new favorite Vegan bowl which I will soon be selling on my website. He's a sucker (and obviously so am I) for vegan made vegan products which say "vegan". Because they can't possibly eat the exact some thing, Dema's favorite is Maple Nut with flax seeds, molasses, and raisins. Breakfast is short order cook time and they have to have different fresh or frozen berries on the side, maybe some soy yogurt, sprouted wheat bread or flax nut bread made at our local natural food store, Strawberry Fields, with Sunbutter and usually Crofter's Organic Super Fruit Spread. Some days breakfast is leftovers. Which leads me to my next cheating food.
For a quick lunch (which might also be breakfast the next day or a snack), once in a while I read for Road's End Pasta Chreese. I never follow the directions and the kids usually make it so no measuring is required. I use the packets in the box and add; organic non-dairy milk, Bragg Liquid Aminos, nutritional yeast, organic flax seed oil, organic beans (usually white beans like cannellini, great northern, butter beans, lima, or sometimes chickpeas), and red pepper flakes. We use my favorite kitchen tool the immersion blender and mix it all together. We don't heat up the sauce and just cover the pasta and usually carrots and peas (sometimes broccoli) with the sauce.I like mine with my favorite hot sauce, Frontera Red Pepper Hot Sauce. The kids like a little on theirs once in a while, but Rob won't eat it at all because it comes from a box. He's a food snob.
The kids have been loving the fresh black berries from our local farmer's market and usually just eat them up before I can possibly make anything with them. I talked them into making blackberry cobbler out of the blackberries last week. We used a peach cobbler recipe from Kids Can Cook Vegetarian Recipes by Dorothy R. Bates. While not my favorite recipe book, it is great to give the kids the book and let them go for it. Parker made this, with a little help from me and it is not too sweet. They loved it...until...Parker bit into a Japanese beetle which apparently blended in with the berries so well I missed it while rinsing them. At first he was appalled that he might have eaten a living thing (he checked it over to make sure it was still in tact and no part of the actual bug had been digested), then he was upset that we cooked a living thing (although I tried to assure him it was most likely dead before cooking), and then he was just put off by the whole thing and upset with me for not being more careful with the lives of others. Sigh, my vegan seven year old might have more than his share of empathy. (He is with me while I write this and he didn't want you all to know the beetle part because he doesn't want you to be scared off from eating cobbler or more importantly black berries. He wants me to assure you this was an isolated event.) I didn't want the rest of the cobbler to be eaten by me so later I went to the store and bought some vanilla non-dairy ice cream and this sweetened the deal enough for the kids to finish the cobbler and left a better taste in everyone's mouth.
Oh, and I found this picture of my guys at our friend Todd's wedding in NJ/NYC in early July. I've decided Rob should wear a tux more often. We are super happy for Todd and his new wife, Katherine. She owns a toy store in Chicago, which you all have to stop by and check out if you are in the area, called Building Blocks (3306 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago). From a vegan standpoint, the wedding was a learning experience for the boys. Parker seems like he's always understood the animal connection when it comes to what many people think of as food, but Dema is much more questioning about these things. At the wedding there was a small pig (yes, the whole thing) and other complete animals served up (beaks, claws, etc.). This really opened Dema's eyes and I think will ensure his veganism for some time to come. We stopped by in Maryland to visit friends on the way out to NJ/NY and we didn't get a chance to visit one of my favorite places, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary (Rob and I used to volunteer there when we lived in the area). I was very disappointed since I knew that would help Dema figure things out, but the wedding did an even better job of bringing it all home. Parker had a great time dancing the night away at the reception. I wish we'd taken more time to play in the city, but we'll just have to go back again. I took Parker to Manhattan when he was three and we stayed within walking distance of Central Park and took in all the vegetarian restaurants, but Rob didn't come with us so I was hoping to do some family stuff on this trip. We did take an afternoon to ourselves in Jersey City and found a surprisingly vegan-friendly restaurant close to our hotel. Parker has decided to open a restaurant and he was happy to get ideas from this place. They had recycled materials for their tables, chairs, etc. and Parker was very impressed with this since recycling is his mission in life. He is working on his menu as well as the decor. I hope he ends up opening a place since our town is in dire need of a vegan restaurant.