Weekend Happenings: Running, and Shopping, and Vegan Doughnuts. Oh My!

A Very Visual Saturday

Whatever that means. Lots of pictures and a video, I guess.

The morning started with a trail run. A late start, for us, of about 8:00 because it was cold, for us, about 50 degrees. We took a quick run with the whole pack (all six of them), then headed out for the real run with Penny.


Alan, Penny and I started out and decided to try a new path that Alan saw, that headed west into the hills. It turned out to be very sandy, poorly marked, and rocky, so our run turned out to be more of a hike and scramble. Still lots of fun, though. Penny led the way, though she is a bit better at rock climbing than we are





I tried out the Twitter apps new filters for this. Not bad.

After our run/hike/climb, I ate breakfast (hurray, leftover tofu scramble!), then settled in to see if I could somehow figure out a way to edit iphone video on my new Windows 8 computer. I don’t know if this is the best way (seems mighty complicated), but after I found an app that would download youtube videos, I ended up first uploading my videos (a few I’d taken on the run) to youtube, downloading them to my computer, then using Windows Movie Maker to edit them. Yes, I know. But, I was kind of happy with the result:

I first made a version that used Kid Rock’s Born Free for background music, which was wonderful, but without music rights needed to change it for publication. I will keep my original version for my own pleasure, though.

By the time I was finished with my video, it was time to go to lunch. I got a surprise when I opened the door, though. A package on my doorstep! A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate to win a dozen vegan, gluten-free doughnuts from Cinnamon. Geanna, of Green Vegan Living, founder of Cinnamon, emailed me a couple days ago to let me know they were on the way, which I’d quickly forgot about. So, it was a nice surprise.

Cinnamon was founded by Geanna who suffered from food allergies for years, and found it difficult to find anything on the market that she could eat. Now she creates wholesome, delicious foods that are allergen free, gluten-free, and vegan. In addition to doughnuts, Cinnamon serves cookies, cinnamon rolls, and for the holidays, a variety of pies. They are sold at a few places in Oregon, but, fortunately for the rest of us, they are also available by mail order.




Geanna sent a lovely note with the package.


Chocolate Peppermint


I brought the plain with cinnamon sugar with me to Starbucks

Now it may have been a long time since I’ve had a doughnut, but I can tell you that both flavors were rich and delicious. And, in addition to being vegan, etc. they are also baked. Sounds downright healthy to me!

After lunch and a cup of coffee (yes, I did bring a doughnut along with me to enjoy with my coffee), we went to buy our Christmas tree. We always go to the same place, a tree lot run by a family who come down from Oregon every year. I think we made our fastest selection ever. It only took about five minutes for Alan and me to decide on our tree.


No, that’s not Alan! I presume it is Mr. Whitney.

Finally, for dinner, I threw together some seitan, quinoa, hummus, and veggies, along with some Middle Eastern seasonings. Recipe coming soon, but I’ll tell you it was pretty delicious.


Sunday Shopping

Sunday also started with a run. A bit earlier, colder, and longer, with no rock climbing. Our goal was to get the run done, then shower, and head out for some Christmas shopping before it got too crazy.

Today we hit the mall, and we were pretty successful at beating the crowd, even though we got going later than planned. Of course, as soon as we are in the middle of shopping at our first store, I get hit with a “hunger thing.” That’s what I call when I’m suddenly so hungry that I get shaky, feel faint, a little nauseous and even break out in a cold sweat. It’s probably a drop in sugar or something, but I’ve dealt with it for years and know what I have to do. Eat.

The problem being, of course, that we were at the mall, not a place known for healthy eats. Bypassing Cinnabon, Wetzels Pretzels, and Coldstone, we made our way to the food court. Honestly, it wasn’t too bad. There were a couple of sandwich places, a Rubios, and the place we finally chose, the Garden Deli. I didn’t take photos, but Alan and I both ordered the 1/2 Veggie sandwich with a side order of sweet potato fries. Not the healthiest of meals, but not the worst either, and at least I knew I wasn’t going to faint or something.

We got a lot of our shopping done, took a quick trip home to feed the dogs, then headed out for a little more. I’m off on Monday, so we can hopefully finish up our shopping when we head out to the outlet stores.


My tree sits naked, awaiting lights and decorations.

As for the tree, it is up, miraculously straight the first try, just waiting to be decorated. Another job for Monday. Also on the agenda: Yoga! Another fresh start (I’m good at that). I’ve got some beautiful new workout wear that I will be trying out, sent to me from Yogi Clothing, that I can’t wait to wear and review.

I can tell that I am rambling now. That is what shopping all day will do to a person. Time to wrap it up. How was your weekend? For those of you who celebrate Christmas, do you have all your shopping done? I always feel like I’m out there until the last minute, how about you?


To leave you with a smile…my grandson Samuel and I wish you and all of your family a happy holiday season.

#Vegan Recipe: Tempeh Patty Melts

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may already have seen these photos from my run this morning, but I still wanted to share them here. Alan, Penny and I took a five mile run on the trails today. It was a little warm, about 80 (on its way to 110!), but with pockets of cool here and there. I love being on the road with my favorite running buddies!

running buddies

running buddies

running buddies

running buddies

After the run I headed off to yoga class, which seemed extremely challenging today (maybe because I haven’t been for a couple weeks?). I have pretty flexible hips (about the only flexible part of me. Runner, y’know). For example, I love pigeon pose. But some of the poses today required hip/abductor strength, and there I found the challenge. I’m sure part of it was the run, but I think I should address some of my hip strength imbalances. That sounds like a topic for Wednesday Workout!

After a long nap recovering for a bit, I spent some time on blog-related chores, answering commenters, reading other blogs, updating photos, planning a few posts, etc. For the last two years I have participated in Vegan MoFo, the Vegan Month of Food, which starts tomorrow. I am not going to join this year (unless I change my mind in the next 24 hours, always a possibility). While I love to post recipes, reviews, and other vegan food related things, doing it every day while trying to maintain my regular theme days, not to mention cross country, and, you know, my job, seems like too much. But, I’ll keep up with other bloggers who are participating and share some good stuff this month.

In honor of those bloggers who are participating, though, I decided to kick of October with a vegan recipe for Tempeh Patty Melts. I always loved the taste of grilled onions, and the flavor of rye bread, so substituting tempeh for meat is a simple way to make this dish vegan. I added avocado because I like adding avocado to almost everything. It’s not a requirement, though.

vegan patty melts

Tempeh Patty Melts

1/2 package tempeh, cut in half, then sliced lengthwise to create 2 burger size patties.
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil (for marinade)
1 tablespoon olive oil (for grilling tempeh)
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
4 slices rye bread
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup vegan cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella because that’s what I had on hand)
1/2 avocado, sliced


Steam tempeh in a steam basket or rice cooker for 15-20 minutes.

While tempeh is steaming, mix together tamari, olive oil, and vegetable broth.

Remove tempeh from steaming basket. Place in a flat dish and cover with marinade. Set aside for about 10 minutes.

Preheat olive oil over medium high heat. Cook tempeh until browned on both sides. Reduce heat to medium, move patties aside and add onions, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

vegan patty melt

Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Spread vegan butter thinly on both sides of rye bread. Place in pan and brown slightly on one side. Turn over, and moving fairly quickly, add vegan cheese to all slices of the bread. Add tempeh patty, onions and avocado. Place both sides of the sandwich together,  pressing down firmly so that melted cheese helps hold it together. Brown on both sides.

vegan patty melts

We had these with baked sweet potatoes (plus I made the whole package of tempeh and used the leftovers for dinner tonight).

Another tasty way to use tempeh! Have you tried it yet?