Tag: Sweet Potatoes

Party Time

Party Time

Wow, 19 days since my last post. I have been a little busy I guess. I had a house full of family visiting and it was amazing, but didn’t leave me much time for extracurricular activities. My sister, nephew and mom were all visiting from out of state and my dad stayed the weekend to join in the fun. My house was bursting at the seams, and so was my heart.

During the nearly 2 weeks of fun, we had a chance to jointly celebrate FOUR birthdays and my daughter’s graduation from high school. It was quite a party.

I tried quite a few recipes and most were fairly successful.

We have varying degrees of veganism/healthy eating in my family now. Everybody has their own needs which makes for interesting planning. My daughter is vegan, but doesn’t mind eating sugar, wheat and soy.  My mom was treating her visit like a vegan spa week, so she was eating along with us for the most part. She, however, has soy sensitivity. My sister has wheat sensitivity and eats very healthy, but includes animal products. My daughter’s boyfriend is a full on carnivore with an abhorrence for most of our vegan treats. Hahaha. My dad loves raw vegan but doesn’t have the same restrictions we do. We all know my son would be happy to binge on Cheezits and Oreos with a big glass of milk.  What’s a girl to do???

Get creative, of course! Behold my cupcake spread! Top left: Vegan organic double chocolate cupcakes with sweet potato fudge frosting Top right: vegan strawberry cupcakes with vegan “buttercream” Bottom: raw vegan chocolate avocado mousse tarts.

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This was the vegan side of the table. Notice my beautiful, go-to party appetizer, cucumber hummus and heirloom tomato bites. Mmmmmmm. I won’t even bother showing you the other side of the table. It was a train wreck of processed crackers, sweets and animal products.

I will provide links to the Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes and the Vegan Double Chocolate Cake with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting. None of them were things I can eat, however. The only one I could eat was the Chocolate Avacado Mousse Tarts.  I modified them but I still wasn’t entirely pleased with the outcome. Here is what I did:

The tart crust consisted of oats, raisens, almonds and cocoa powder. I ended up adding a bit of almond butter to help is stick together. 

I pulsed it until it was nice and sticky. I pressed it firmly into the bottom of cupcake liners and stuck it into the fridge to firm up.


While those were chilling, I made the mousse. It was simple to make. Avadado, dates, cacao powder, vanilla, water and coconut oil.

Even though I am usually oil free, I did use one teaspoon of the called for 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil to help it have the proper consistency.

Once it was ready, I spooned the mousse on top of the crust.I chose to forgo the lemon cashew cream (we eat something very similar on a weekly basis in the form of vegan sour cream and vegan ranch, basically savory versions of the same recipe) and went with unsweetened Whipped Coconut Cream instead. I used Trader Joe’s 100% coconut cream. The brand at Walmart had added ingredients that I did not want.

Top tip for Whipped Coconut Cream, make sure you have NO coconut milk mixed in with the the solid cream. Mine would not whip until I blotted the last of the liquid out of the bowl, then it worked. I only used a bit on top of each tart.

The verdict? Meh.

For next time I would actually use my Almond Joy Bites recipe for the crust. I was not a fan of the raisen crust.

I would also tone down the dates in the mousse. 1 full cup was a bit too sweet for me. All in all, not bad. Next time will be better.

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The Power of Numbers

Why are numbers so powerful in our lives? They can influence you in ways you never thought possible, both good and bad.

Take the scale for instance. A higher number than you expect on that particular instrument of torture can send weeks of dedication and work spiraling down the toilet. Too many times in my life  I have given up completely because of gaining 2 pounds after losing 10 or even 20 pounds.  This is why this particular journey has nothing to do with weight loss (even though it is a beautiful and much needed side effect.). This time it is about health and being pain free.

That being said, do you have any idea how humbling it is to admit your weight on a platform that other people can, and will, see? Why does a number somehow make it worse? 225? Because saying it out loud will somehow make you think worse of me? Because if I didn’t say it out loud, my pants wouldn’t still be plus size? You wouldn’t be able to see my rolls and bulges?

But there is a flip side to those powerful numbers. A beautiful flip side. It is your friends. The power of numbers to encourage, support, cheer on and even join you in your battle.

I have an amazing husband who has gone vegan with me, for no other reason than he wants me to succeed and for my life to be easier.

I have an amazing sister who has also joined me in an effort to support and encourage me from afar (she lives 1,000 long miles away.)

I have friends who share their recipes as well as their struggles.

I have friends who rallied with me when The Old Spaghetti Factory removed spaghetti squash from its menu. They put it back on the menu on Saturdays at my local restaurant thanks to everyone who contacted them! 😘

Even the receptionist at my chiropractor’s office is cheering me on! She shared with me this amazing recipe that I have added into my weekly rotation. Oh, how delicious it is. Savory, crunchy, creamy, filling and oh so satisfying.

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Find the recipe here.

Once again, minor modifications were in order. I substituted chopped dates for the sugar in the roasted chickpeas and left out the oil, of course.  Hurry up and make it already!

Oh, and if you are one of those that I am blessed to call friend, thank you. You have no idea how much it means to me.