This is my follow up post to my vegan week.

I’ve thought, long and hard, about going full on vegan. Here are my thoughts, at this point:

1. I can not give up frozen yogurt, goat cheese, eggs and butter. If I can have a modified vegan diet that includes those things, sure, bring it on. Vegans, calm down, I realize if I have those in my diet, I’m not a vegan.

2. I ate more beans during my vegan week then normal to help get enough protein. On Sunday my daughter was a MESS (she’s still nursing). I don’t know if it is because we started her on solid food the same week, or because of my extra bean intake. But she was not just spitting up, but crying while eating and HURLING after just half of her ‘meals.’ I’ve heard moms say beans didn’t agree with their kids while they were nursing, so I wonder… I do need protein, and just nuts, tofu (soy), and higher protein grains aren’t gonna cut it right now. If I wasn’t nursing, I think I’d be able to get plenty of protein without any animal products. But since I will be for a few more months…you see the dilemma…

3. I bake. I know you can bake vegan, I’ve seen plenty of amazing blogs that do. But at the end of the day, I am not ready to make the switch to vegan baking. However, I would like to slowly start trying new vegan baking recipes to help expand my knowledge of how ingredients can be used as animal replacements. Like using flax seeds instead of eggs. Or making cheese out of raw cashews. This does interest me…

4. About the body image topic. My body felt great last week not having any animal products. No stomach aches from dairy, HALLELUJAH! And I didn’t feel like I was depriving my body just for the sake of control. I felt the opposite, like I was intentionally feeding my body exactly what it needed. But because of the previous 3 points, I will not be going vegan right now. What I would like to do is eat more intentionally though. I would like to really focus on giving my body what it needs and not just what my taste buds crave. Sometimes those go hand in hand. I crave a salad, great, go for it, indulge in a kale and quinoa salad, but maybe not in a BBQ chicken salad filled with chicken, dairy, and sugars. So I’m thinking of it more as ‘clean living.’

This toffee is not clean living. It is taste bud craving indulgence at it’s finest. As much as I want to eat clean, come on, I love food. I love sweets, I love sugar. And I won’t give them up completely, at least not at this time. Neither should you.

This stuff is more addicting then crack.

This was the easiest candy I’ve ever made. I mean really, this almost doesn’t qualify as candy making. You don’t need a thermometer, or to stand over the stove for an hour constantly stirring. Which I have done with caramel and peanut brittle. Worth it yes, but this is worth it too, with even less effort, time and ingredients. It has that sweet/salty combo that is oh SOOOO satisfying!!! This year for Christmas I WILL be making a bazillion batches of this, since it is technically a Christmas candy/cookie.

Saltine Toffee
Recipe Adapted from Chocolate and Carrots
makes 1 large sheet pan

about 40 saltines (enough to cover the bottom of large cookie sheet)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds (slivered or sliced work too)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large cookie sheet with tinfoil and spray with non stick spray. Lay the saltines, in a single layer, on the cookie sheet, completely covering the bottom. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar. Once it reaches a boil, let it boil for 3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and immediately pour over the saltines.

Spread evenly with a spatula and bake for 6 minutes. Bake until the entire cookie sheet is bubbling. Remove from the oven and immediately pour the chocolate chips over the hot toffee.

Let the chocolate chips sit for 5 minutes (this melts them) then spread with a rubber spatula.
*The toffee might kinda spread a little with the chocolate, that’s ok. Just do your best to spread the chocolate over the entire surface. Use more chocolate if you want too :)

Sprinkle with chopped almonds and put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling time.

Remove once it is completely cooled and the chocolate is hard. Peel away the tinfoil and break into pieces. Now it’s ready to:

1. Give away little baggies as gifts.

2. Store in ziplock bags in the freezer for spur of the moment entertaining.

3. Bring to work and watch your co-workers marvel at your ‘candy’ making abilities. It’s a real ego booster!