Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday, Bridget!

Our firstborn turns SIX years old today. Parenthood has been quite the adventure and I am so glad to have this amazing girl to help me figure things out along the way.
 
She was always a happy baby and she has turned into a sweet and kind little girl. She's a great big sister to her two younger brothers (even though what she really wants is a little sister). The simplest things make her the happiest. She's goofy and funny and loves life, although she is extremely shy. She is easily becoming one of my best friends. I cannot wait to see what amazing things she'll do as she continues to learn and grow.
 







Happy Birthday, Little Princess!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Washington, DC (Part 3)

After out sweet treat from Sticky Fingers Bakery, we drove around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do next. We ended up going on a spur-of-the-moment visit to Arlington National Cemetery. If you're ever feeling unpatriotic, making a visit to this sacred cemetery will remind you of how fortunate we are to live here. There are beautiful white headstones as far as the eye can see. It's a very somber feeling to see so many men and women who sacrificed so much for all of us.
 
We got to the cemetery at around 4:30 in the afternoon. We walked through only a small portion of it before we turned around and went back to the van. I only wish we had gotten there sooner to take the official tour of the entire cemetery. It is most definitely on my to-do list for our next visit.
 
Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

After leaving the cemetery, we stopped at Subway for a quick bite to eat. Then we found a parking space near the National Academy of Sciences where they had the Albert Einstein Memorial. Bridget loves learning about science and even though we have not yet discussed Albert Einstein, I had to get a picture of all of us at the memorial.

Albert Einstein Memorial
 
From there, we walked to the Lincoln Memorial. The sun was just beginning to set and we had a very pretty view of the Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool. The kids were having a good time and Bridget loved posing for pictures.
 
Bridget and George, Washington Monument
Liam and Daddy, Washington Monument
 
I don't often want my picture taken, but Bridget was being very sweet and the backdrop was lovely so I figured, 'what the heck'. I'm glad it turned out alright. It's solid proof that I was there too.
 
Mommy and Bridget, Washington Monument

After some outside pictures, the kids, Daddy, and the grandparents took the elevator to get an up-close view of Abraham Lincoln. I opted for the stairs.

Bridget thought the statue was very big and very cool. She was pleased to have her picture taken with it. She informed me later that the Lincoln Memorial was one of her favorite parts of our trip.
 


Bridget and President Lincoln.
 
After leaving the Lincoln Memorial, we walked through the Vietnam Memorial. By this time, it was already getting dark. We made it back to the van and took the long way back to the hotel. At one point, we were at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street NW just before the blocked off portion to get to the White House and were stopped by a bunch of police officers (not just us, but all of the traffic was stopped). Then, after a few minutes, a black vehicle being escorted by police and special unmarked vehicles (probably secret service) zipped passed security and into the White House. We're pretty sure it was the President just because of all of the security with him and the fact the driver was so quick and stealth-like. They were probably coming back from dinner or a night out. We'll go with that. I really have no way of knowing, but it was still pretty cool.
 
By the time we got back to the hotel, it was time for showers and bed. It was our last night in DC and the next day we would be making a special trip to Maryland and then down to Virginia and home again. Stay tuned for the last part of our family vacation!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week in Review 2015: #36, #37, #38

Life

We recently enjoyed a family vacation to Washington, DC. My in-laws joined us and we were able to go to a few museums, the zoo, and the monuments. This was our last big vacation for the year. Washington, DC was especially excited for their upcoming visit by Pope Francis (oh how I love this pope!) and were already beginning to block off roads and other areas and to clean up the city. While I wish we were staying long enough to catch a glimpse of him (that would be a once-in-a-lifetime treat for this American), I'm glad we left just before the big crowds arrived.

I've published a couple of posts about our trip in more details and pictures, which can be viewed here:

Washington, DC (Part 1)
Washington, DC (Part 2)

On our way out of DC, we took a detour and drive up to Maryland to see my cousin and his family. It was so nice to see them after 9 years. More about that visit in my Washington, DC posts.



Recovery after our trip has been difficult. The kids have gotten back to a good routine, but I've been suffering from a stiff body. My husband and I shared two double beds with all three children. We're used to a king-sized bed. I shared my double bed with Liam and Bridget. I feel like I slept on less than a foot of space for all 3 nights. Six nights later and I'm still not recovered.

Homeschool 

History

We studied some of the kid's favorite characters from the Old Testament: Abraham and Joseph. We reviewed the stories (the kid's know them very well already) and watched a cartoon movie about Joseph for one of our Family Movie Nights. We then ventured deeper into Mesopotamia and studied Sargon of Mesopotamia, Hammurabi of Babylon (and Hammurabi's Code), and the Assyrians. We read one of the oldest stories in the world, The Epic of Gilgamesh. To say the kids loved it is an understatement. I had purchased the children's version which comes in three separate books. My intention was to read one each day. Instead, I read them in one sitting. Bridget kept wanting more and more. It's a fascinating tale and I am glad we took the time to read it together.
 

A Few Books We've Read...

Gilgamesh the King (The Gilgamesh Trilogy) by Ludmila Zeman
The Revenge of Ishtar (The Gilgamesh Trilogy) by Ludmila Zeman
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (The Gilgamesh Trilogy) by Ludmila Zeman 
 

Family Movie Night

I am a little behind, so I have a couple of movies to report. For week #36, we had studied the story of Joseph from the Old Testament. For our movie, I picked Joseph, King of Dreams. The kids enjoyed it so much they ended up watching it again the next day.
 
We did not watch a movie for week #37 because we were on vacation in Washington, DC.
 
No movie this week either.
 
Next Week's Movie: African Cats 
 

Linking up to:

 
http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/weekly-wrap-up-the-one-with-a-bunch-of-random-stuff/ 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Washington, DC (Part 2)

On Saturday, we went to the Smithsonian Zoo. It had been a few years since we had last gone to the zoo, so it was a real treat. Having Grandma and Granddaddy there was also nice. When you have 3 small children, the more hands available, the better.
 
Most of my museum and zoo pictures looked a lot like this:

At the tiger exhibit.

The children were very interested in the animals and not so interested in turning around to smile for mommy.

What did make them smile was a ride on the carousel. This was the first ride any of them had ever been on. Bridget, who normally hides her smile in public, just couldn't hold it in. Before the ride even started, she was grinning from ear to ear.

Bridget on the hummingbird.

George waited patiently and was very content. His smiles came after the ride started.

George on an eagle.

Even Liam got to go for a ride, with daddy of course. Grandma and Granddaddy also rode on the carousel and at times, they were smiling bigger than the kids were.

Liam and daddy shared a crocodile.

After the carousel ride and a snack, Liam was ready for his nap. He rode around like this for awhile.


This was the first zoo I've been to where many of the animals would come right up to the glass to say hello. This meerkat was very interested in Bridget.


Bridget was most excited about seeing the pandas. Unfortunately, they were not out when we went by the exhibit. But there was this live panda-cam where we watched the momma panda snuggle her sleeping baby (born in August).


There were a number of animal statues at the zoo but this is the one George found most amusing. He has a thing about poking their eyes. This was only after he crept up slowly to it.


We enjoyed our time at the zoo. My favorite had to be the cheetah. It was in an outdoor exhibit and only about 20 feet from us. I've seen tigers and lions at the zoo before, but seeing a cheetah was a first for me. My husband's favorite was seeing the tigers. One of the tigers was playing with a big ball, trying to pull it up on a platform. It's playfulness reminded us of a housecat, but much bigger. I guess the big cats are little kitties at heart.

After our time at the zoo, daddy was ready to go out for his birthday dessert. There were only a handful of vegan places in Washington, DC and one of them happened to be a bakery called Sticky Fingers Bakery. Here is the birthday boy about to enjoy his peanut butter fudge cupcake. A review of this bakery will be posted at a later date.


Our Saturday was not over yet, so stay tuned for Part 3!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Recipe: Dill Potato Salad

I have to admit that one of the more difficult things about switching to a plant-based diet is not being able to enjoy comfort foods like potato salad. When I first changed my diet, I tried a few different brands of vegan mayonnaise. They. Were. Awful. I remember making a huge bowl of potato-macaroni salad, having a couple of bites, trying to tweak the seasonings, and ended up throwing the entire thing away. I thought that was it for me. But then I found Vegenaise at my local Harris Teeter and I was back in the game. I enjoy experimenting with potato salad and for our Labor Day meal, I created this recipe for a vegan version of Dill Potato Salad. It did not disappoint.
 
 
Dill Potato Salad

2 lbs. red potatoes
3/4 c. Vegenaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
1/2 c. sweet onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, plus extra for garnish

Wash the potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Cook for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Do not overcook. When done, drain the potatoes and rinse under cold water. Place the cooked potato chunks into a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for 4+ hours or overnight.

Garnish with fresh dill and serve.
 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Washington, DC (Part 1)

Our final big family vacation/field trip for the year finally came. We had planned a trip to Washington, DC. A week after booking our hotel rooms (my husband's parents were joining us on this trip), I received a jury summons. After a failed attempt to get it deferred or excused, I thought I'd have to cancel. Luckily, Monday I was only on call and on Tuesday I only had to stay until noon. I received a phone call that night letting me know I was free for the rest of the week. Thursday came quickly and I rushed to get everything packed (I really thought I was going to have to cancel the trip). We made the 4 1/2 hour drive to DC on September 17th. The hotel was able to get adjoining rooms for us, which was great. Because it was also my husband's birthday, we went out for pizza that evening. And because most of our family is vegan, it had to be zpizza (click on the link for my review from a different location).
 
It was very difficult to get the kids to calm down and go to sleep that night. They were far too excited. They finally crashed around 11 o'clock and woke up bright and early the next morning. Our first stop was the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This was my husband's only request during the trip. We took the metro down from our hotel, waited in line, and an hour later it was time for our tour. They do not allow pictures to be taken during the tour so I have none. It was somewhat interesting, if that's what you're into. I'm glad we were able to do it, though.
 
By the time the tour got out, it was time for lunch. I had heard about a restaurant chain that was mostly vegan and had to give it a try. So we walked down to L'Enfant Plaza and found the Amsterdam Falafel Shop. They were located at a food court and the concept of the restaurant is very simple: falafel sandwich or falafel bowl, with fries. I opted for the bowl and got 8 falafel (to share with the kids). There were numerous Mediterranean toppings to add to the bowl (hummus, baba ganoush, roasted eggplant--just to name a few). You then pay for your bowl by how much is weighs. I also got a side of pita, tahini sauce, and spicy peanut sauce. The kids mainly ate the hummus, pita, and fries. The falafel was very tasty, but a little too spicy for the kids (I leave out the spice when I make it at home and tend to forget that restaurants don't do the same). I ended up eating almost all of the falafel while the kids enjoyed the hummus (I was not impressed by the hummus but the kids liked it). No pictures of the food this time. We were so hungry, we dug right in. I didn't remember to take a picture until the food was nearly gone.
 
After lunch, we went through the Smithsonian Castle and on to the Museum of Natural History.
 
At the museum, Bridget was most fascinated by the bones exhibit. He enjoyed guessing what animal it was by the bone structure. She got quite a few correct. Here she is with the skeleton of a very large sea turtle.
 

We also saw dinosaur bones. I think George liked that exhibit. We also saw a real mummy. I wanted to get a picture of Bridget with the mummy since we had just studied them, but she wasn't having that. I think she was scared of it.

Another highlight for Bridget was seeing the Hope Diamond. Being a girl, she loves anything that sparkles. By this time, George and Liam were done, so it was time to leave.


That night for dinner, we had leftover pizza. Since the night was still young, we headed up to Kensington, Maryland to see the Washington DC Temple. The temple itself is currently closed for repairs and renovations, but the grounds and Visitor's Center were still open. We were able to get a family picture of us in front of the temple. All three of the children are looking in the general direction of the camera. That's about as good as it's gonna get.


Inside the Temple Visitor's Center, the sister missionaries showed us one of the newest exhibits, which was this very detailed model of the temple, which showed all of the various rooms inside the temple. I took many pictures of it to keep for the kids. My favorite part was the "solemn assembly" room on the top floor. We assumed that it never really got used anymore, but we were informed that it was used at least 2-3 times per year. The stakes in the area actually hold a session of stake conference in the temple, and that they had just had one just before the temple closed for renovation in August. I thought that was the neatest thing ever. I wonder of hubby can get a job in Washington, DC for a year or two so that I could have the experience of being in one of the stakes that get to do this.


George was mesmerized by this smaller scale model of the temple. He couldn't get close enough!

 
Finally before we left, I was able to get the kids to sit still for a picture in front of the Christus. The last time this happened was in Hawaii in 2010. It was just Bridget at the time. I love how our family has grown.
 


All three of the children fell asleep on the drive back to the hotel. Liam stayed asleep even after we got up to our room. The other children were able to get into their pajamas, but they were sound asleep again shortly after. It was a busy day!

Monday, September 21, 2015

We're back!

It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks for us. We've gone through a few big events like getting ready to move, but then not moving (at least for a little while). I also thought I needed to have a minor surgery but ended up not needing it (huge relief for me, especially since I went in for it the day before we left on our trip). I also had to report to jury duty the same week we were going on vacation, with no chance of getting deferred or excused. It has been a whirlwind for sure.

It feels good to be home with no major plans going on now, other than a very special little girl about to turn 6 years old in just over a week.

I'm taking this day to recover and hopefully clean my messy house. I usually clean the house really well before our vacations so that I can come home and not worry about housework but because of everything else going on, that didn't happen.

We're all pretty tired still. We got home just before 10 o'clock last night. My poor husband headed into work this morning, although I am not sure he will be of much use today. The kids are rather ornery this morning, which might have to do with the huge slurpee from 7-Eleven we got them on the drive home, and the fries which served as their dinner so that we could keep the van moving while they didn't make too big of a mess in the backseat.

I took over 300 pictures during our vacation and have a lot of blogging/journaling to do to document it all, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Restaurant Review: Thai Thai Seafood in New Bern, NC

A few weeks ago we had the privilege of traveling to New Bern for my mother-in-law's birthday. We had lunch at Thai Thai Seafood Restaurant. They are located at 2405 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC. It's a very small place, but well worth the visit.

Do not be put off by the name, as they do have much more than just seafood there. During lunch time, they offer a buffet. There was one vegetable dish on the buffet that might have been vegan, but I went the safe (and more filling) route by ordering from their menu. If you go in for lunch and want to stick with a plant-based diet, ask for their dinner menu as they have a lot more to choose from there.

For my appetizer, I ordered the Tofu Tod (fried tofu with peanut sauce). I know George (age 3) will always have something to eat if I order tofu. If there is something to dip the tofu in, even better. This did not disappoint.

Tofu Tod ($4.95)

For my entrĂ©e, I ordered Pad Thai Vegetables (thin rice noodles, tofu, vegetables, and peanuts). I ate most of this, but gave Bridget and George all the broccoli they wanted and Liam enjoyed the peas (I love broccoli and peas but if my children want to eat them, they're more than welcome to... I love kids who eat their veggies!)


Pad Thai Vegetables ($12.95)

Because the kids were with us, we had to get a dessert. I've had this dessert at many Thai restaurants with the same result: delicious! It's sticky coconut rice with fresh mango. George was most interested in eating the sweet rice, Bridget opted only for the mango, and Liam ate anything he could get!


Sticky Rice w/ Fresh Mango

Here was my view of my very special dining partners. Bridget had a good time sitting next to Grandma and held on a good conversation. It took her awhile to start eating, as there are many pictures in the restaurant of their other dishes involving seafood, and Bridget was scared that I was trying to serve her something that had once been alive and well. I'd never do that to you, sweetpea!


George was his usual sweet and silly self, of course. Just give him his tofu and he'll be the most quiet and well-behaved child ever.


Liam knows good food. It was hard to feed him fast enough.

 
 
This is a great place to go if you're dining with your omnivore friends and family, as there is something that everyone would love. All of the food tastes very fresh and the owner is very nice and accommodating.
 
This review is from a visit made on August 21, 2015. All prices are what they were at the time of our visit.
 


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week in Review 2015: #35

Life

While most weeks seem to be uneventful, this week sure wasn't! On Monday morning (August 31st), we discovered that Bridget had her very first loose tooth! She's been waiting for one and I assumed it would not happen until after her sixth birthday. Once we found out she had a loose tooth, my husband and I figured it be in there for at least a week hanging on by a thread before it finally came out. Oh boy were we wrong! The tooth came out just two days later, on the evening of  September 1st. She was tumbling in the living room and playing with Liam and my husband thinks that Liam may have kicked her mouth, but either way, out popped the tooth! She came running to me saying "I think my tooth just came out!", as she digs around in her mouth for her tooth. And there it was. A huge milestone for her. She's growing up too fast. The Tooth Fairy left her a little message with two dollars.

Bridget and her tooth!
 
Another milestone was hit in our family about the same time of  Bridget's major milestone. Liam walked! On August 31st, he took a few steps to follow his daddy. After this, he wouldn't even stand for us. But then on September 1st, he walked across the living room. I don't have any pictures to share of it but I do have a video. While I thought that was it for him, that he would now be walking everywhere, I was wrong. He still mostly crawls. He's an extremely cautious baby and I'm perfectly okay with that.
 
In other news, Liam broke my computer one morning this week. I left the doors to my computer hutch open while helping Bridget with her math lesson. Liam wandered over and pushed the button to my CD drive. Once it came out, he tried to pull it out even more. When he screamed at it for not coming out (he screams at whatever frustrates him) was when I noticed him. It was crooked and I managed to pop it back straight, but then it would not close. It felt as if something was blocking it from going in. It ended up being a long day, as I was now unable to close the doors to the hutch even if I wanted to, and it was nearly impossible to keep him away from it.
 
Liam, right after breaking my disc drive.
 
When my husband got home, he was able to take apart the disc drive (or whatever it is called) and repair it. My husband is good at all things computer-related (even though this is not his field of training... he's an accountant). I am so glad he got it to work again, because we use the disc drive to watch the Math-U-See instructor's lessons. Bridget thinks the instructor is a hoot!

George assisting daddy with fixing the computer.

 

Homeschool

 

Math

Bridget is back on schedule for math, and has even got ahead. She took her test for lesson 5 (and got all correct) and we began lesson 6. She HATES lesson 6. It involves writing numbers 0-100 over and over again. While her writing is quite neat for a first grader, she still hates all writing assignments. I've told her she just needs to get it done and as soon as she is done with lesson 6, we can move on to the next lesson and not worry about all that number writing again (although her numbers have improved even since beginning the lesson... no more backwards numbers!).    

 

History

We had to play a bit of catch up for history. History and science are our subjects we do after the most important one's (like reading, writing, and math). It's easy to fall behind, but it's just as easy to catch back up. We began the week reading about King Narmer and the uniting of the upper and lower kingdoms of Egypt. This was a review for Bridget as we learned this at the beginning of Kindergarten last year (before I decided to stop and wait until this year). She remembered everything and so we did not re-do of the projects.
 
Then we moved on to cuneiform and hieroglyphs. Bridget already knew a lot about hieroglyphs so we were able to breeze through this lesson as well.
 
I then went back to a previous lesson and read her a few Egyptian myths. She loved these! I'll probably end up reading them to her again before returning them to the library.
 
Next, we moved on to mummies! If you had asked me at the age of 12 what I was going to be when I grew up, I would have told you that I was going to be an Egyptologist. I loved all things Egypt, especially the mummies! After we read about making mummies, we made one using something I had from when I was a young girl learning about Egypt. We took the body apart, removed the organs and placed them in the appropriate canopic jar, then wrapped our mummy for burial.
 
Putting the lungs into the canopic jar.
 
Wrapping the mummy.
Adding the burial mask.
Our mummy ready for burial with all four canopic jars.

 

A Few Books We've Read...

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Leonard Everett Fisher
The Voyage of Osiris by Gerald McDermott 

 

Family Movie Night

The newest addition to my week in review is our family movie night. I choose a movie based on what we studied in history or science. This week, we watched The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Movie night is actually dinner and a movie ,as we spread out a blanket on the living room floor and eat our dinner while watching the movie. This week, I made "mummies" for dinner. We also had brains (tater tots) and blood (ketchup) to keep with the gory topic. Bridget did not like me calling the ketchup "blood" and refused to dip her mummy in it. She also left the brains alone but she did enjoy her mummy! George ate everything without any issue. We carried Liam's high chair into the living room (to prevent him from crawling over the kid's dinner on the floor) and he had brains and eyeballs (grapes, cut into pieces).
 
"Mummies" for dinner!
 
The movie went over well with George but Bridget kept yelling "Turn off the movie! I want it off!", anytime anything scary was happening. Minutes later she was laughing at whatever funny thing was happening, then she was back to being scared. She wouldn't let daddy cover her eyes and ears during the scary parts---she still wanted to see. It was pretty funny. We had to talk to her for about 20 minutes before bedtime to let her know that the movie was all pretend and she ended up sleeping through the night with no problems.
 
Next Week's Movie: Joseph, King of Dreams

 

Weekly Meal Plan

 

Linking up to:

 
http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/weekly-wrap-up-the-one-with-the-sign-language-and-the-driving-lesson/ 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Week 36 Meal Plan

This week's plan is fairly simple, but we do have a holiday this week to look forward to! I like to do something a little special on holidays, and I also like to include a more heavy dessert than usual. Friday is also our family movie night in which we watch a movie related to what we learned in history or science. I prepare finger foods that can be enjoyed while watching the movie (I spread a blanket on the floor for the kid's and do things "picnic style"). This week's movie is Joseph, King of Dreams because we'll be learning about Joseph in Egypt this coming week.

This week's meal plan:

Sunday
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Pancakes (made by daddy)
Snack: Apple or Banana with Peanut Butter
 
Monday (LABOR DAY)
Breakfast: Oatmeal, fresh strawberries
Lunch: Veggie Burgers, Baked Beans, Potato Salad
Dessert: Banana Split Cake
Snack: none (late lunch)
Dinner: Leftovers
 
Tuesday
Breakfast: Toast w/ Peanut Butter, Banana
Lunch: Eggroll in a Bowl, Orange Slices
Snack: Banana Split Cake
Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
 
Wednesday
Breakfast: Granola, Yogurt
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Tomato Soup, & Apple Slices
Snack: Banana Split Cake
Dinner: Leftovers
 
Thursday
Breakfast: Mixed Nuts, Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Peanut Butter & Agave Sandwich, Apple Slices, Raisins
Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk
Dinner: Chili Macaroni
 
Friday
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast
Lunch: Chick'n Fingers, Sweet Potato Fries, Grapes
Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: Joseph, King of Dreams
Dinner: Falafel w/ Tahini Sauce, Pita Bread, Salad Greens
 
Saturday
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: (Kid's Choice)
Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk
Dinner: Hawaiian-Style Tofu w/ Brown Rice
 
You might be a bit shocked to see that I give my children sweets for their afternoon snack. I do this for a few reasons. First, I do not like giving my children sweets after dinner because it gives them a sugar high right before bed. Second, it's a little boost of energy before I send them off to their afternoon extracurricular activities (gymnastics, dance, etc.). I have a few rules about snack time (the sweet snack is what is planned but sometimes they don't always get it) that I'll explain in a future post.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Recipe: Mexican Pizza

Before switching to a plant-based diet, I loved Taco Bell's Mexican Pizzas. While Taco Bell is still one of the most vegan-friendly fast food chains around (their refried beans have NO lard!), their Mexican pizza is lacking once you take off all of the animals products.
 
I was able to create a vegan-friendly version of Mexican Pizza that is just as tasty, without all the cholesterol. I serve mine even without vegan cheese (it's not needed), but feel free to add it if you must have your cheese. I recommend Daiya cheddar shreds, if you choose to go this route.
 


Mexican Pizza

12 small (6" diameter) corn tortillas
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 can of fat-free refried beans

Filling

1 bag Boca crumbles
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. cooking oil (vegetable or canola)
3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Preheat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add Boca crumbles and onions. Cook until Boca crumbles are heated through and onions are tender. Add your favorite taco seasoning and water to the skillet. Mix well. Add soy sauce and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.

Sauce

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. sugar

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over medium high heat until it just starts to bubble.


In a frying pan, heat 1/2 c. of cooking oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, fry each corn tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side (or until golden brown). Remove and drain on paper towels.


To assemble the pizza:
Spread a large spoonful of refried beans on a corn tortilla. Spread a large spoonful of Boca filling on top of the refried beans. Top with a second corn tortilla. Spread a large spoonful of sauce on the top of the pizza. Add desired toppings: tomatoes, olives, green onion, vegan cheese, salsa, etc. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted, if you choose to add cheese).

Feel free to add your favorite vegan sour cream or sliced avocados for garnish. For kids (or adults), use a pizza cutter and cut pizza into four pieces.

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