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Rhode Island, United States

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mangia Italia!

Tonight's dinner was a huge success!
I went for a run in the afternoon, doing my usual 4 mile hilly loop through my neighborhood, and finished my dinner preparations when I returned. I snacked on a strawberry banana Silk soy yogurt topped with 1/4 cup home made trail mix to hold me until our feast was ready!

The theme for dinner with my grandparents and family tonight was Italian all the way! I made a simple insalata of mixed spring greens, sliced yellow pepper and black olives, with Veganomicon's Mediterranean Olive Oil and Lemon viniagrette, which was very flavorful and delicious, definately a great dressing for a simple salad.

For dinner, I made my Grandpa's favorite- Spaghetti and Meatballs! I cooked up some Bionature Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti, and we had this with Lindsay, the Happy Herbivore's Slow Cooked Marinara sauce, which was the best home made sauce I've made so far, and one of her tester recipes for Meatless balls. What a winner this was! We each had 3 HUGE meatballs, and my grandpa ate every last bite of his big serving of pasta and sauce! He asked what the "meat"balls were made with, and wanted my grandma to make them for him! Now, I couldn't give her the recipe yet but I'm definately going to help her incorporate some meatless recipes into my Grandpa's meals now that we know he likes the faux stuff! I ate my entire big serving too, and thought it was fantastic!

For dessert, I made up my own recipe for a Fresh Berry Crisp that turned out awesome! I used inspiration from a few different cookbooks to put together a sweet 4-berry filling with a wheat-oat topping, that turned out better than expected! I've only created baked goods from scratch a couple times in the past, and this one was by far my best attempt. I love experimenting, maybe I'll make up my own cake or cookie recipe next! My family enjoyed the crisp as well, I served each bowl with a scoop of my favorite So Delicious vegan ice cream, and no one noticed it wasn't real ice cream! My meal was 100% vegan, and so was my Mom's (the others had real parm on their pasta, my mom and I used Galaxy Food's vegan parm, but otherwise it was all vegetarian!)

I'm stuffed, but I'm so glad it went well!

Here's the recipe for my dessert:

Kristin Nibbles on... Fresh Berry Crisp (I need a good name for this one- any suggestions?
(Makes 4 big or 6 small servings)

4 cups of your favorite fresh berries
(I used sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries; 1 cup each)
1 heaping tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

Combine all ingredients in a square 8" glass pan, until sugar and arrowroot are dissolved, set aside to make topping

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 cup unrefined sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
pinch salt
4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp agave nectar

In medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugars, coconut, cinnamon and salt
Slowly work in applesauce and water until mixture forms a sticky dough, stir in agave
Spoon oat mixture on top of fruit mixture, spreading with fingers until fruit is covered in a layer of crisp

Preheat oven to 350
Bake for 35-40 minutes until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp (will still be chewy)

Enjoy with a scoop of your favorite non dairy ice cream, gelato, or soy yogurt!

Ok, I'm off to bed soon- I've had a late last couple of nights and I'll be up again tomorrow night- I'm going to see Sex and the City with two of my best friends tomorrow night after work, it's a 10pm show but I just have to see it opening night- it's my alltime favorite show!
Anyone else going to see it?

Have a great Thursday night, the weekend is almost here!!


VeggieGirl said...

Looove the pasta dish and dessert!! Yum!! Thanks for the recipe :0)

Annie said...

Hi Kristin, I dont know if youve answered this before, but what made you decide to go Veg? And slowly vegan? Your mom and sister arent, if I am correct, so is it health issues or morals, or both?
Also, have you decided what your going to do diet wise while in Italy?
Sorry I know there random questions, but I was just wondering

Kristin said...


No problem, I'm happy to answer questions!
I initially decided to stop eating red meat in 7th grade, because I learned a lot about animal cruelty and found it horrifying- I wanted to become a vegetarian, but didn't think it was possible because my family ate a lot of chicken, turkey, deli meats and fish. We were never big red meat eater anyways so that wasn't a hard decision.
I decided to finally take the plunge to vegetarianism because I slowly stopped eating meat and realized how much better I felt, physically, abstaining from meat. I continued to eat fish because I felt as though fish made me feel nourished, whereas poultry and meat made me feel gross. I became a vegetarian officially in the middle of black belt training, during my junior year of high school (January 25!) two years ago, and have never felt healthier. I thought I would remain a pescetarian (eating no meat/poultry, just dairy, eggs and fish occasionally) because I really loved my cheese and tuna, and really didn't think much about becoming vegan until recently.
I had always felt a bit funny after consuming dairy, but I must admit now I believe I was addicted to it. Because I am slightly lactose intolerant (a lot of adults are because we begin to lose the enzyme lactase as soon as we are weaned off of breast milk), I never drank milk and although cheese and ice cream made my stomach hurt, I ate them because I was addicted to the flavor.
Then I read Skinny Bitch. and then I read it again. I've read it 5 times total. I can truly say those girls changed my entire perspective on the way I was eating, and what I put in my body. As soon as I finished reading the book, I wanted to become a vegan. Again, I still didn't think it was possible.
I started really thinking about making the switch to veganism when I started readings some vegan blogs, and dabbling into vegan cooking, realizing what a tasty and fulfilling diet I could create abstaining from all animal products. I have found lovely alternatives to my beloved dairy (which now makes me repulsed just thinking about... ugh) and have been almost dairy free for about a month now... although I do eat some cheese and ice cream on occasion because I have decided to remain a vegetarian while in Italy.
It is not only for my health and well being, but I truly do not want to eat meat, so I am not going to. Lindsay (from Happy Herbivore) really helped encourage me to stick with my beliefs and that there were options for me as a veg in Italy!
So, I will eat cheese and gelato there, but no meat, fish, poultry, etc... and I am planning on becoming a vegan as soon as I return to the states.
I am very excited about this transitition, I feel it is the best for me, health wise and is something I have been wanting to do for a long time! I am totally against animal cruelty, and I have never felt better, physically than I have felt eating a mostly vegan diet; so it's the whole deal, health, morals and an overall better life!

Hope that answers your question =)

hk said...

what a great dinner!!

ducky said...

how bout you call it berry berry chrisp? lol