activism / product review

Happy Trails Farm Sanctuary & Noms!

Previously unaware that there were any animal sanctuaries in NE Ohio, imagine my surprise when I was told there was one in Ravenna, about 30 minutes away! And that there was a vegan potluck going on! Olivia & I went out to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary a few Saturdays ago and enjoyed a lovely tour of their facilities and residents and then relaxed with delicious homemade vegan treats. After the owner gave us some background on the sanctuary, Liv signed up to be a volunteer at the facility and I signed up to be an emergency rescue volunteer. So far, Liv is loving visiting her four-legged friends and swimming in their poo! She couldn’t be happier. πŸ˜€

This is one of the smaller goats, a breed of pygmy, I believe. He was very friendly. πŸ™‚

This is Radar. He was born with abnormalities in his back feet – he doesn’t really have any. But he gets around just fine on his stumps.

Here is Liv w/ one of the mares rescued from a neglect case.

And HERE is one of the huge horses that came to the sanctuary via the Amish Retirement Program. Absolutely gi-normous.

*squee!* Here are the 6 pot-bellied piglets! There’s a runt in there somewhere… seeing them scamper around was definitely the cutest moment of our stay.

This is Anselmo, a rescued farm pig. He is just like a huge puppy. Our tour guide called his name when we arrived to his area and he ran over like a golden retriever excited to see guests.

This is one of the many rescued cock-fighting roosters who live at the sanctuary. They were so sweet and so very vocal.

And here are some geese! This big guy was loving the attention of so many people and was strutting to show it.

In kitchen-related news: I finally broke down and bought a cheap food processor. And I LOVE it! Here is my former basil plant all food-processed into a tasty pesto over some soba noodles. I feel as if my kitchen is much more complete.

Mmm… a Tempeh BLT w/ Fakin’ Bacon. So delish.

Mmm! Gardein Tuscan Chicken breast w/ tomato & basil sauce w/ “Forbidden” black rice & sauteed mustard greens w/ peppers! The package comes w/ 2 breasts, so I had 1 more for lunch the next day. Seriously good stuff.

There has been much cause for celebration this month. It was my 23rd birthday this month, I got my 1st big girl job, and Liv got a job in a vet’s office. Needless to say, much of this celebration was in the form of alcohol. A friend of mine and myself have decided to take a month away from heavy drinking. His rules aren’t as stringent as mine, but to each their own. Here are my rules:

  1. No drinking. There are other ways to celebrate.
  2. No smoking (which I only do when I drink, so: easy).
  3. Eat leafy greens at least once a day.
  4. Get some form of physical activity at least once a day.
  5. Laugh more!

Above is Rule #3: a big, spinach & arugala salad! With cherry tomatoes, peppers, broccoli & a homemade dressing of Vegenaise, dijon mustard, garlic salt, lemon juice, & fresh ground black pepper, this salad was a meal on its own.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have some Eco-Planet “Cheddar” Crackers along with it! I have been looking for these ever since I saw Erin include them in her laptop lunches and was so psyched to see them in the clearance section of Kreiger’s the other day. They taste just like I remember Cheez-Its to taste. Yum!

My co-worker, Woody, & his wife, Laurie, took me out to VegiTerranean to celebrate my new job on Tuesday. It was such a lovely time! It was also their 1st visit to the Veg & they were more than impressed with every course, which just melted my heart! We started with tempura-battered asparagus fries w/ a horseradish-ranch dipping sauce… amazing! Here is Laurie’s salad: strawberry citrus.

And mine: Raw “tuna” salad w/ an agave-mustard dressing. OH my god. This was fan-fuck-tastic! Our waitress told me the base for the “tuna” salad was pecans. It didn’t taste a damn thing like tuna (chickpeas work best for that), but this salad I would rank right up there w/ the Rustic Tuscan Chopped salad (and we all know how I feel about them shits… NOM!).

My main course: Tuscan Gnocchi w/ roasted tomatoes, fire roasted red peppers, artichokes, and wild mushrooms in a tomato vodka sauce. This was the best gnocchi dish I have tasted there… My mouth is watering from the memories!

Here is Laurie’s pasta (Woody’s pics did not come out well at all! He got spaghaetti & vegan sausauge!): whole wheat penne w/ wild mushrooms, artichokes (?), asparagus in a cashew cream sauce. This has been on the menu since I first started eating at the Veg – and for a good reason!

My dessert: cherry-chocolate bread pudding w/ amaretto sauce & raspberry drizzle. To DIE for! Might be my favorite VegiTerranean dessert – and believe me, I’ve sampled them all!

Laurie’s: lemon curd tart w/ a coconut macaroon crust & raspberry drizzle.

I believe my blog is fully caught up with all the goings-on now. πŸ™‚ This Sunday is a Compassion Over Killing-hosted event in honor of Vegan Hot Dog Month! We will be passing out literature, word of mouth, and vegan hot dogs in Highland Square. So if you live nearby – check it out!

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