But we are happy and enjoying every second in spite of the crazy messy house and chaotic mornings.
My name is Stine and I am Danish – as in from Denmark (a tiny country in Scandinavia – sometimes mistakenly thought of as the capital of Sweden). I lived a couple of years in Scotland with my Scottish husband Michael before we decided to move to Denmark, where we had our two girls Nyah and Scarlett and recently our little baby boy Harvey.
I have a master degree in business administration and business law and in my professional career I have worked both as a cost controller, a business analyst and now a project manager with a large international company. Being a full time working mom in a career job, where the hours are not just 9.00 – 5.00, I have to try and plan ahead most of the time – if I don’t we end up having takeaway pizza or store bought dinners, which I do not want my kids to grow up on. Luckily the more I cook and experiment with food – the more I have come to enjoy it! And I now find it fun and challenging to cook up delicious vegan meals – the satisfaction when the kids and my husband really loves something is worth all the effort and all the failed attempts seem to not matter.
After having become vegan back in 2012, I started “veganising” the dishes we used to eat – and I bought lots of vegan cookbooks to get inspiration, but unfortunately the kids often did not enjoy the meals – and they started asking all the time if they were allowed to “put ketchup on it?”. In the beginning we thought “well yea sure you can” – of course ketchup is not necessarily the most healthy – but on the other hand – if that meant that they actually ate some of the food – then whatever… to me it was better if they “put ketchup on it” than refused to eat it… And so I started this site to keep track of all my notes – tracking which dishes they outright refused to eat, which ones they put ketchup on and which ones they actually ate without asking for ketchup (the ultimate success)… the result is this website – an easy way for me to keep my recipes – so I can make them again the same way, knowing that all the recipes on here are successful – as in the kids actually ate the food (with or without ketchup).
My husband and I have previously been vegetarians, back then (in 2005 and a few years on) we mainly did this due to an animal welfare perspective. However, at one point we reintroduced meat and dairy once or twice a week, while always ensuring we bought organic. But then in 2012 we became vegan after having done a more thorough research into both health and animal welfare (we also have since then watched some very interesting documentaries, that I can highly recommend: ‘Food Matters’, ‘Hungry for change’, ‘Forks over knives’, ‘Fat, sick and nearly dead’, ‘Food Inc.’, ‘GMO OMG’, ‘Farmageddon’). As any major change in ones life requires – not only persistence – but also time, before it becomes the norm, we decided that we were not going to be ‘fanatic’, this would just bring about failure. So we decided that my husband and I would be vegan to the extent possible without becoming obsessed. That meant that if at work a colleague brought in cake, we would not go out of our way to find out if there were egg or milk in it, or even on a Friday – when we have our “Friday night – Pizza night”, we would not drop the cheese just like that (what is a pizza without cheese – bread with tomato??)… However, after now many failed attempts, I think I nailed the pizza – see the recipe: Our favorite vegan pizza. Well this is our way of being vegans – my husband calls it “95% vegan”.
UPDATE (29th March 2017): Well that whole thing about getting used to a new way of life is indeed true – and we will not judge those who are not ready to take the leap into veganism – or even 95% vegan… but just the other day we saw an interesting (and very heart breaking) youtube video by Erin Janus that reminded us about why it is that we will no longer be too easy going when it comes to dairy products and things that contains dairy products – so we have now officially stopped eating all things dairy – all of us including the kids… I know you might not feel like watching this video – but just do it anyway – you might just find out something you really didn’t know about dairy… Check it out: “Dairy is Scary” by Erin Janus (Viewer discretion is advised).
So what do we / do we not eat here: We eat lots of delicious stuff that is for sure… and I will continue to share delicious vegan recipes with you guys – and I hope you will enjoy making and eating them… We don’t eat: Meat, Dairy and Soy products. We also don’t eat rapeseed (canola) oil (health perspective) or palm oil (orangutan perspective) (and yes… we do read the labels on all margarine and vegan butter before buying to ensure that it doesn’t contain either of these oils). We are still not 100% vegan in the eyes of true vegans – as we do eat Honey and also occasionally Eggs (I know – I know … ‘it is someones period’… and as gross as that sounds (and is) sometimes we give them to our kids for lunch – not to be mean parents – but because we are not perfect either… (important – must always organic). And now that we are at it – we do now and again buy Quorn products containing egg (only if it is organic egg!). We try our best to avoid processed foods – because we all know that vegan or not – processed foods are just not good for any of us… Some people might argue that with the fact that we eat honey and egg that we can’t have a vegan blog – well watch me 🙂 no seriously – the blog is vegan because the recipes I put on is vegan – and we always strive to be better at being vegan 🙂
It is on purpose that the entire post has not been altered to reflect our “new stricter lifestyle”… and it is because I think it is important to say that we also are just people trying to figure out what is right and what is ok and what is wrong… finding the balance between being fanatic and also getting through every day not being totally stressed out over all the principles (simply striving to remain sane)…
Hugs for now, Stine
At the time we decided to go “vegan’ish” our two girls were 1½ and 3½ and the question was – what do we do with the kids and their diets? They were used to a very different diet, with processed meat such as salami and liver pate as a normal part of their lunchboxes. Now, with our newly acquired knowledge on health and food we felt we also had to act on this on their behalf – and at least attempt to change a bit in the (for us) right direction… but at the same time we also didn’t want them to be standing out as weird and different, plus the simple fact that we also had to give them something they would actually eat, we couldn’t just start giving them salad and beans in their lunchboxes… Dilemma!
A new project for the night time… we searched and searched the internet to find out how to make lunches for kids – but we just couldn’t find any good sites – nobody seemed to really handle the ‘lunchbox problem’! So for a long time we decided to continue with their lunchboxes as they were – and thought at least their food at home is vegan’ised, so it is not as bad as it has been! To this day, our girls still get salami and liver pate in their lunchboxes occasionally… but we have indeed introduced lunchbox options that are not all meat/dairy based… but I am working on it. One of my current projects is to make my “Vegan Delicious Lunchboxes” book – so right now I am testing different ideas and recipes that can go in a school lunchbox and that the kids will eat… the book will be out this year (2017) and if you have subscribed I will let you know first 🙂 directly to your inbox (subscribe here). But I would have to say that one of the most successful things we have done, is to introduce the kids to:
Juices (their favourites are): Tinkerbell Juice, carrot-orange juice
Smoothies (their favourites are): Chocolate Heaven, Monkey Treat
Healthy Snacks (this one is very often in the lunchbox): Oatmeal Bites
What I do is ‘veganise’ our food – I modify recipes to be vegan and test new recipes – over and over again until they taste great… then the ones that succeed with either me, my husband and/or our kids make it onto the website. So if you are looking for inspiration on how to make vegan meals that kids (at least ours) will eat – well then please stop by my site whenever you wish… You can also find inspiration for family activities if you are looking for something cosy to do on the weekends. In the shop, which takes you to amazon, you will find the tools that I use in my kitchen, the groceries that can be hard to find in the shops (I also found that it can sometimes be a great advantage to by in bulk) and some of the things needed for your creations in the family activity section…
So if you want to get alerted to the latest Recipes and Family Activity ideas, then please sign up and become part of the ‘PutKetchupOnItCommunity’… AND get your copy of “My very own cookbook – vegan meals made by kids” eBook for FREE, which I am sure your whole family will love.