Monday, August 6, 2007

One Year of Cruelty-Free Living

Yesterday I celebrated my one year veganiversary!! Well, I'm not sure of the exact date last year that I decided to go vegan, but it was definitely early August. So how to celebrate? Cook a big meal of course! So I put on my Vegan Freak t-shirt and my Damn Tasty Vegan apron and got to work. My parents came over and we enjoyed manicotti, broccolini, a fresh fruit salad (courtesy of mom), and a fancy dessert (I'll get to that in a minute!)


The manicottis were filled with a creamy tofu-cashew ricotta. I added a package of frozen spinach to the original recipe. The filling was super creamy and rich, and the spinach was a nice addition. Next time I may add basil as well. To top the manicotti, I whipped up some tomato sauce using two cans of diced tomatoes (one with basil and garlic seasoning), one can of tomato paste, at least a cup of red wine, garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, a squirt of agave nectar, and some salt and pepper. After baking the manicottis for about 30 minutes, I topped it off with some Follow Your Heart vegan mozzerella and turned the oven on broil for the cheese to melt. And melt it did! The picture doesn't show it too well, but it was a nice addition. A very filling meal, but we had to make room for dessert....

I have been waiting to try aTxVegn's winning dessert from Urban Vegan's "vegans gone wild" recent contest. This seemed like the perfect excuse to make the Extreme Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Tart with Caramel Sauce. How could it not be a winner with those three things? I got up early Sunday morning to start baking. I was so proud, this is the first homemade tart crust I've ever made, and it turned out great!! Just a word of warning though, those tart pans are sharp! I sliced up my finger cleaning it ...ouch.

The result of several hours of labor was well worth it. This tart is rich and chocolatey and the nuts add a wonderful texture. Be sure to top it with plenty of the sugary sweet caramel sauce! But be careful, a sugar overload may ensue! (that's a good thing sometimes)




This piece disappeared in mere moments..... ahhhh, pure bliss!



This past year has been an amazing journey. I feel I have grown so much as a person, there is a certain peace that comes along with veganism that is difficult to explain to those that are still consuming animal products. I have never been happier or felt healthier in my life. I have discovered a love for cooking, baking, and creating. And of course, I have discovered my love for blogging! Thanks to all of you for the chance to peak into your vegan world, I have learned so much from you. Can't wait to see what the next year brings!

18 comments:

Brooke said...

Happy Veganiversary!!!!

Vegan*asm said...

Yay, congratulations! What a wonderful meal you prepared. The tart looks incredible. We celebrate our veganiversary around the same time (mine is in June). I wish I would have celebrated with a meal like that. I hope this next year brings you just as much peace, happiness, and delicious food. I can't wait to see it all!

Judy said...

Happy veganiversary! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to make that tart. I'm telling you, if food like that was a mainstay in vegan diets, I would become vegan in a second!

VeggieGirl said...

congrats on celebrating your one-year veganiversary!! I can't wait until I can celebrate my one year veganiversary (which won't be until March 2008) - your dinner and dessert were certainly good choices for the occasion; everything looks "mouth-wateringly" delicious!!

Tamara said...

Congrats Amanda! What a happy occassion. I wish I remembered when I went vegan - it would be a fun anniversary to celebrate.

As for the tart pan, I feel your pain. The fist tart pan I bought cut my finger so badly that I almost needed stitches. I returned it and got a different one that has more of a rolled edge.

Celine said...

happy veganniversary to youuuuuuu!!!
your tart is making me salivate. wow...

Vegan Yummies said...

happy vegan-anniversary to you! :)
that chocolate nut tart, oh my.

vko said...

Happy Happy Veganniversary! And what a perfect celebration meal- I bet you inspire your family daily with all those amazing meals and they will slowly but surely see the vegan light!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

What a great celebration! Congrats!

Your food looks delicious. I'd be first in line for the manacotti. Yum!

bazu said...

Happy veganniversary! What a wonderful way to celebrate. Many happy returns!

veggie barbie girl said...

My mom sent me to your site to look at the tart that you made. how cool is that.. I have been wanting to make it too but it sounded like a lot of time and work even tho I like cooking and stuff!
Now I'm gonna try it. yum.

stonielove said...

Happy veganiversary! both dishes look absolutely gorgeous!

Vincent Guihan said...

Hurray!

aTxVegn said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! Your dinner plate looks outstanding. I can't remember the last time I made manicotti. And I can't believe you made the tart - I'm honored! It looks beautiful.

springsandwells said...

Hoorah!
Congrats on your veganiversary!

It looks like such a great meal. It's fun to see how similar our manicottis were! I definitely agree about adding some green stuff to the filling - it's a must.

The tart looks superb. Great job!

laura jesser said...

Yay, happy veganniversary! We've been vegan for almost the same amount of time... You sure celebrated well! I'm looking for an excuse to make that tart. Hee hee.

the little one said...

Happy Anniversary! Here's to a lifetime of annual celebrations of your wonderful veganism!

Foodeater said...

Congratulations... the critters of the world thank you!