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Several weeks ago, I spotted this Gardein Holiday Roast on sale at my favorite grocery store (the Skagit Valley Food Co-op, in Mt Vernon, WA).  Of course I had to buy a box, since I’m always eager to try new vegan food products.

Gardein Holiday Roast

Gardein Holiday Roast

Since we’re skiing for 4 days over this New Year’s holiday weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to cook up this animal-free treat.  The roast will feed Eric and I for 3 dinners.  The box suggests that the roast serves 8, but I think 6 servings is more realistic and appropriate.

Preparation is a snap…

1.  Keep the roast frozen until you’re ready to cook it.

2.  Prepare the (optional) Basting Glaze from the recipe on the box…

Whisk together:  1 T tamari, 1 t vegetable oil, 1 T orange marmalade, 2 T orange juice, 1 t Dijon mustard and 1/4 t dried thyme.

(I didn’t have orange marmalade, so I used the apricot jam that I already had in my fridge.  I also used all of the juice from a fresh-squeezed orange.)

3.  Place the frozen roast on top of your choice of veggies with about half of the glaze.  I chose onions and carrots.  My loaf pan was perfect for the job.

4.  Bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Drizzle half of the remaining glaze over the roast and bake another 15 minutes.  Repeat one more time, for a total of 60 minutes.

Basting Glaze and Frozen Gardein Holiday Roast

Basting Glaze and Frozen Gardein Holiday Roast

Cooked Gardein Holiday Roast with Basting Glaze over Carrots and Onions

Cooked Gardein Holiday Roast with Basting Glaze over Carrots and Onions

Instead of baking the potatoes in the glaze (which probably would have been better), I baked 3 potatoes in a pan.

Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

The roast includes a 14 ounce gravy packet that you simply thaw and heat.  Note that we ate the whole packet of gravy in one night!  We didn’t need to skimp on the gravy since I made extra (Mmm…that would be the Mushroom Gravy recipe out of “Big Vegan,” by Robin Asbell.)

Gardein Homestyle Gravy

Gardein Homestyle Gravy

If you follow this blog, you’ll recognize this Pineapple Cranberry Sauce:

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce

We rounded out the meal with steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  After I took this picture I drenched everything with more gravy!

Basted Gardein Holiday Roast with Carrots & Onions, Homestyle Gravy, Pineapple Cranberry Sauce, and Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower

Basted Gardein Holiday Roast with Carrots & Onions, Baked Potato, Homestyle Gravy, Pineapple Cranberry Sauce, and Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower

Finally, I must NOT forget to mention that the Gardein Holiday Roast is absolutely, utterly, and wonderfully delicious!  YUM.  I look forward to my next 2 dinners!

Speaking of forgetting…

I forgot to prepare a dessert…oh, BOO.  Instead, a spoonful of Wax Orchards Classic Fudge will have to do!

Little Mountain Park Trails, Mt Vernon – Mountain Biking – October 21, 2012

If you drive on 1-5 near Mt Vernon, Washington, you might pass the “little mountain” on the east side of the highway, without even knowing what delightful trails are up there.

Our first visit to Little Mountain was in September 2009.  At the time, we were still new to mountain biking.  We went to LM just once, to participate in a work party for trail building along the Sidewinder trail.  It was one of those perfect late summer days, when Mt Baker was especially magnificent.  I included some pictures from that day in this set of photos.

Click this link to check out the– still ongoing!– work of Jim “JT” Taylor and the Mount Vernon Trail Builders.  They’ve been busting their butts for years to create such a great community asset.  (Thank you!)  I admit that I feel a little bit guilty that we only helped out the one time.  We’re still on the e-mail notification list, 3 years later.

Today we finally went back.  Our ride took just 2 hours to go up and down all of the “Multi Use” trails.  If you live in Mt Vernon, these trails are an ideal location for your after-work workout.  Who needs those cardio machines at the gym?  For bikes, the singletrack trail surface is generally smooth to somewhat rocky and not too rooty…Very nice!  Today the trail offered an additional, “slickish” layer of multi-colored fall leaves.

We parked at the lot between N. Pamela Street and the Silver Arrow Bowmen Archery Range.  I felt extremely unsettled there, as I empathized with the animals who fall victim to the arrow.  I couldn’t help but think of a certain image that I have in my computer– of a deer shot with an arrow.  The arrow entered at the center of her nose and exited at the back of her right jawbone.  I shudder as I imagine the suffering endured by that animal.  She is not alone.

And– as this vegan’s luck would have it, right from our parked car, I could also see the green building for Andal’s Custom Meats.  Those are the folks who were hired to slaughter Barbara’s Cows.  Ugh.  (Breathe, Elisa.)

Let’s get back on a happy note!  At the end of the ride, we stopped in for wine tasting at Carpenter Creek Winery.  It’s located right across from where we parked.  I recommend the 2011 Signature Series Riesling and the 2009 Viognier.

Now for the pictures.  Try to find…

  • Camano Island, Whidbey Island, Fidalgo Island and the San Juan Islands
  • the Skagit River and Skagit Valley
  • the (distant) Olympic Mountains
  • the City of Mt Vernon
  • Mt Baker
  • Blanchard and Galbraith Mountains

[Click on an image to enlarge and view in a photo gallery]

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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