This week is pretty darn special….we hit two milestones this week. First, we celebrated our one-year Veganniversary on January 22nd! Whoo hoo!! 😃 I admit I was incredibly skeptical about making the transition to veganism after ten years as a vegetarian (in fact I even stood in my brother-in-law’s kitchen Christmas 2016 and said there’s NO way I would ever give up cheese) but I remember the meal that cemented the decision for me. The night before our first ‘official’ day as vegan we had a family dinner at Veggie Bob’s Kitchen (Fort Langley, B.C) which is known for its plant-based comfort food The kids ordered Mac N Cheeze N Ketchup (featuring creamy house cashew queso sauce), Janik had the Naughty Nachos (with cashew crème and Mex-Vegan bean chili) and I ordered the Zapatista Quesadilla (artisan sausage, house refried beans, onions, peppers, sweet potatoes and cheese all grilled in a flour tortilla). Simply AMAZing. Each meal was so satisfying…so full of flavour and marvelous texture that it rivaled the ‘real’ thing. As we left the restaurant I was assured that eating plant-based was more than possible….it was going to be GREAT! ☺️
Fast forward a year and I can honestly say I have never felt better physically and mentally. I don’t mean to leave the impression the past year has been “all roses” because believe me, it wasn’t. The first three weeks or so I’ll admit I was in a withdrawal phase of sorts…..staring longingly at my colleagues’ greek salad topped with feta cheese and jealous of fellow shoppers tucking their mint chocolate chip ice cream tub in their grocery basket. It pained me to throw out my last wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano around week three…..that’s when I knew I was in this for real 😮. On a lighter note I am really proud of how far we’ve come in one year….especially the kids who have been troopers and embraced being vegan whole heartedly. Just recently, my son was offered a free cookie from a bakery associate at our local grocery store and he not only paused before taking the cookie but asked “Is this vegan”? (and yes, he walked away after her answer was NO). A vegan lifestyle is really about making choices grounded in compassion and I couldn’t be happier that Vegan Rhapsody allows us to spread the message of compassion by sharing wholesome, plant-based recipes.
This week also marks another momentous occasion….we’ve reached the big 100! Yes, we’ve tested, developed and photographed over one hundred vegan recipes ☺️. Since we launched Vegan Rhapsody in July 2017 this blog has become our “digital baby” (seeing as we have two kids and six fur babies in the mix) ☺️. When Janik and I aren’t working or spending family time together this blog is what we do…and we love every minute of it. Everything from selecting the recipes and choosing organic, non-GMO ingredients to getting that ‘just right’ beauty shot of each recipe takes not only great time and care and a heck of a lot of patience from two young kids who often have to wait for dinner while mommy and daddy photograph it, lol. Curating this library of recipes has also taught me to be able to laugh at myself (let’s just say there may have been a few epic fails “behind the scenes” lol). Most importantly, developing recipes for Vegan Rhapsody has reminded me the rewards that come with putting your energy into what you love.
To round out today’s post (which clearly deviates from the norm!) I’d like to share our Top 12 Vegan Rhapsody recipes from 2017. A shout out to my blog partner, husband and best friend (Janik) for helping me assemble these behind-the-scene stats on the site.
Top 12 of 2017:
#3: Harvest Bread
#5: Quinoa Tacos
#9: Falafel Sub
#10: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
#11: Crispy Rösti Ball
I look forward to what lies ahead!