It all began with a Chili Cook-Off Contest in the sweet little cowboy town of Buellton, California, miles away from my other “big city” life in L.A. I had recently made this beautiful ranch country my half-time home when I decided to enter my vegan, gluten-free chili in the contest ( tho I decided to call it vegetarian cuz I thought that was pushin’ my luck enough). True, I had to force my chili on a few beef-lovin’ cowboys walking by my booth, but darn if they didn’t like it! And I won FIRST PLACE in the “Red Chili” Category. It was a victory for vegans everywhere! And for me, well . . . I was on to something. And since I was unexpectedly starting my life over again as a single mom with four kids, I needed something new to be “on to”.
It was actually my twenty-year-old daughter, Kailey, who started me on my vegan journey. I had already been gluten-free for some time and my gut was feeling pretty darn happy. But I was scared to death about a few nasty family diagnoses (genes ain’t nothin’, right?) and did a little research on prevention through food. My journey led me to believe that a vegan lifestyle could empower me to take control of my health and future. And being the control freak that I am, how could I resist? BTW, I lost 15 pounds without even trying. Just a little perk I had to share!
I have to add that vegan is not for everyone. And I’m not preaching it either! I’m just saying that for my body, well it made my body VERY HAPPY. And to try a few more plant-based meals now and then is good for all of us. So whether you dive in “whole hog” (hehe) to the vegan thing on OR you simply want to eat more veggies and need some recipes, this is the place for you!
My goal is to share my vegan, ranch experience (yes, it’s a bit of an oxymoron I know) and the recipes I create AND LIKE. Hopefully you like them too. And to share some of the wacky things that go down on the ranch. This city girl is constantly amazed, humbled and often grossed out. But determined to make a go of my new life. As my mother always said, “Nothing worth doin’ is ever easy, honey”. Ain’t that the truth?!
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