Ode to the in-laws

It’s no wonder people are scared of their significant other’s parents; with movies like Meet the Parents, in-laws get a pretty bad rap.  Fortunately for me, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. 

I just got back from a weekend+ getaway with Kyle’s family and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining his family than if they were the sole heirs to the Whole Foods chain. 

Not only are they amazingly accepting of my vegan lifestyle, but they go above and beyond to accommodate it, to the point of straight up spoiling me!

They had vegan treats in every nook and cranny of the kitchen, along with a fully vegan menu planned for the entire time I was visiting.  I mean, we all know I would have been perfectly content with a (Costco sized) tub of hummus for 10 meals in a row, but this was beyond my wildest expectations.  Seriously, I could go on and on about how at home this made me feel, but I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking…trust me, you’ll see what I mean.

Saturday started bright and early with a pound and a half of (unpictured) coffee…I was too tired to unpack enough to find my camera.


Dave’s Killer Bread!  (I’m pretty sure luring us to move back to the west coast was what motivated 99% of these purchases…)

The Powerseed flavor is my favorite, and it was just as delicious as I remembered it being.  Dave, get your products to the East Coast already!


I also tried Amy’s quarter pounder veggie burgers, which has been on my to-try list forever now.  Veggie burgers are tricky business in my opinion.  They can’t be too much like a meat wannabe, and yet, they have to have a fairly sturdy texture to hold up for grilling.  This one was made on the grill and held up fabulously, and the nutty/seedy taste was perfection in my book.  It reminded me a lot of the Plant burger I had in San Francisco (probably because both have a nut base). 


I had mine with avo, tomato, lettuce, and copious amounts of course & grainy mustard and BBQ sauce.  Dave’s Killer Bread sealed the deal.  This was heaven in my mouth.  I was pretty stuffed after, but I still managed to pack away another half of a veggie burger.  That’s how I roll.

I hardly had any time to digest lunch before the snacking continued…and continue it did (all freaking day long).


Now THAT’S a big package 😉

While Kyle went to town on the Costco box of Wheat Thins, I worked my way through the hummus on the right.  Lilly’s is no Sabra, but I’m not one to turn down a chickpea.

For dinner we had a Vegetable Green Curry dish (new recipe, see below). 


Vegetable Green Curry

  • green beans
  • broccoli
  • red bell peppers
  • green curry paste
  • coconut milk
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped

It was a bit heavy on the green curry paste, but I love a good and spicy Thai dish.  Hey, if you can’t take the heat…

My tongue and lips were on fire, but I never broke a sweat (aka it was perfect).


I also had brown rice to soak up the excess sauce and give my taste buds a break from the heat.

Dessert was nice and cool, though.


If you have never tried Tempt, you are missing out.  It’s a hemp milk based vegan ice cream and the Coffee Biscotti flavor was like the vegan love child of a Starbucks frappucino and a chocolate chip cookie.  And what’s a sundae without a bit of brownie?  My vegan agave sweetened treats were a big success (so it’s a good thing I didn’t polish them all off on my layover in Seattle).



Sunday started much the same with a huge cup of coffee (and more not so subliminal hints to move West).

It wasn’t so much of a meal day as a day of constant grazing.


Art’s Original Blend PROBAR, Banana Bread Larabar, vegan chocolate fudge oat bar, vegan dried fruit & nut chewy bar, medjool dates, vegan/gluten free pretzels, and the creamiest homemade hummus ever


Veggies galore!


Avo mash on it’s way to fresh guacamole


I snapped photos of a few plates (this was just the tip of the iceberg…trust)


More evidence my in-laws heart me…Kombucha!

We kept ourselves busy throughout the day with football, a trip to the nail salon, and (wouldn’t you know it) MORE eating.

Kyle and I did sneak in a walk with the dogs and a 2 mile run.  My cardio efforts weren’t to stay in shape or anything, but rather to keep things moving in the GI realm (if you know what I mean…)


Dinner was another new dish and this was by far my fave of the trip.


Pumpkins stuffed with a brown rice mixture of green chilies, kidney beans and corn, then topped with chopped tomatoes.

These flavors were sensational together.  As they baked in the pumpkin it all melded together and BAM!


Insta-yum in each bite.  Plus, the dish gets extra points for it’s presentation, dontcha think? 


Gorgeousness.  The pumpkin was baked to perfection and practically oozed out as you scooped into the pumpkin to serve the rice mix guts. 



On the side we had a salad with spinach, avocado, shroomies, orange slices, dried cranz, and red onions.  I googled my way to a dressing for the salad and it turned out so great I copied it down to share:

1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. grated onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil


My plate(s).


The wine-ing continued into the late night fasho.  What can I say, I’m a classy gal!

Monday started with an early wake-up call.  We decided to hit up the tree farm to get the Christmas spirit under way. 


But apparently, the weatherman didn’t get the memo.

Brrrr…coffee on the way there (hardly enough to get a buzz).

I was going to get in a second dose of java after we returned home, but something else sounded a little better.


I had TWO mimosas!


Empty stomach + champagne before 10 am = drunk hippie 😕 (please refer to above photo)


Lunch came early because I needed solids to absorb the booze.  Whoops!

Amy’s quarter pounder veggie burger sando on DKB (round dos)…with an extra veggie burger on the side (and the usual heaping portions of colonel mustard and senior ‘cue).


Apples on a plate – ’cause I’m dainty and eat ma slices with a fork.

X-mas spirit indeed!  I felt like Saint Nick with my belly protruding over my jeans.  Not cute.


I was in no position to help put up the tree in my food coma state so instead I cheered on the boys as they flexed their muscles.


Mounted and ready (twss).  

It’s a rough life…eating around the clock like you’re storing for a long winter (while doing nada to exert yourself).

I learned how to play pinochle (confusing!) and went for another stroll through the neighb with my K love.  As darkness set in, we popped the cork (yet again).


While chopping and prepping for dinna’ we enjoyed wine & hors (aka my freshman year of college). 


Dinner was (you guessed it) ANOTHER new vegan recipe.


Quinoa pilaf!


On the stove top…zucchs, peppers, carrots, celery, etc. sizzled away.  Then the quinoa joined the partay with the carrot juice.  Hello naranja!


Done and steaming like a mo fo!


Plate #1

Side dishes included a BN squash/cran salad and grilled asparagus


Butternut squash with cranberries (and walnuts*):

  • 2 lbs. butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbs orange blossom honey
  • 1 tbs orange juice
  • 1 tbs walnut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cranberry juice
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

*Since I hate walnuts, we swapped them out in exchange for chopped dates (so the nutritional info isn’t really accurate).

Per serving: 120 kcals, 2 g pro, 5 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 20 g carbs, 0 mg chol, 5 mg sod, 4 g fiber, 9 g sugar


Kyle was not digging all the orange, but I was in squash heaven.

I had two HUGE servings of squash and felt 4 months preggo by the end of it.  No complaints here.


Dessert "tempt"ed me yet again, but I don’t have a photo because I was too warm and cozy vegging on the couch to be bothered.  The (above) photo was Kyle’s dessert (slices of apple and pumpkin pie).

Tuesday was a day full of flights.  4 airports, 14 hours, 100 lbs of food.  My carry on was literally busting at the seams with all the food we packed.  Kyle’s parents didn’t want us to go hungry, and I can say with 100% certainty that that DID NOT happen.  I’ll post on the en route chow tomorrow because this post is already way too long.  Good thing I had all your questions to pass the time.  Seriously, you guys asked some AWESOME Qs…it’s gonna take awhile so bear with me.

Question: Do you like your in-laws?  Love em?  Tolerate em?  Dish it!!

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Comments (50)

  1. shell625

    your eats look absolutely delicious!! i just tried those amy’s burgers and liked them a lot actually 🙂 the bread sounds good too.

    i’m glad you had fun with yoru boy’s family !


  2. mayapamela

    That is so sweet that not only are your inlaws accepting of your vegan lifestyle but go the extra mile to accommodate it. You’re so lucky!

  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    OMG epic post!
    The Vegetable Green Curry looks great. Curry does scare me a bit. But I could cut that back.

    Dare I say, I am scared of roasting a whole pumpkin! You made it look so amazing and awesome, i may have to give that a whirl.

    Vegan agave desserts = my middle name.

    My inlaws? They’re dead. They’ve been dead for 8 yrs for one and about 30 yrs for the other. Sad but true.

    Missed you, glad you’re back!!!!!!

  4. Mama Pea

    I could write a book about my in-laws. Or just quit a blog because of them. Either way.

  5. Tabitha

    Wow what a banquet! It all looks utterly delicious, I wish I had the patience to cook.

    I can’t stand my in laws, we don’t even pretend anymore, no Xmas together or anything, nada bubkes. Hurrah!

  6. Crystal

    Wow I’m so jealous!!! I tolerate the in-laws.. It’s not that they aren’t nice people.. but they certainly don’t go out of their way too accommodate me on a holiday- forget about for every day stuff.. Though I guess some of that is that we live only a few minutes away.. But after 7 years of being in the family (over 2 of those years married) you would think they could steam me a bit of broccoli on Thanksgiving!

  7. The Voracious Vegan

    Ooooh so much delicious food! I’m happy to hear there is a bigger veggie burger on the market, I’ve never met one big enough for me yet. Hopefully I’ll be headed back to the states soon so I can get my hands on those!

    WOW, that ice cream looks like heaven to me, I think I would be going back for seconds and thirds.

    You are so lucky to have in laws that are so supportive of your choices!

  8. Katie

    Awesome! Move back to the West Coast 😉 Sounds like a blast. I love the real tree i’ve wanted one FOREVER. Fake is just easier though.

    I love holidays tis for eating. I must try that Dave’s Killer Bread I’ve heard so many good things about it.

    Glad you love your in laws I’m lucky both sides of my family are really good friends. I am single though so no in laws here.

  9. VeggieGirl

    Lovin’ the tree and recipes!

  10. kilax

    How awesome that they totally get the vegan diet! My in-laws don’t. They are somewhat accepting of it, but buy things for me to eat that have milk in them. It’s frustrating. We get along (so I guess you could say I tolerate them), but neither my husband or I enjoy our time with them because they are very unhappy people and don’t like to have fun!

    All of the meals you had look so good! Especially the Green Vegetable Curry!

  11. Abby

    My fav post .. kinda EVER. You are soo lucky to have such understanding in-laws. Mine are confused still about the whole NO dairy/meat thing. I sent my mother in law a link to my blog to kind of show her its not as WEIRD as she may think. For Christmas she is stressing about what to make, of course. I already know Ill come equiped with tons of food!
    That pumkpin dish looks amazing 🙂

  12. Jessie (Vegan-minded)

    There is so much good food in this post I don’t even to know what to comment on! I love the stuffed pumpkin. 🙂
    It’s great that your inlaws were so accommodating of your vegan diet. The fact that they bought you a kombucha gets major brownie points in my book!

  13. Beth

    Apples with a fork = love.
    Feeling 4 months preggo after eating = love.
    Mucho good eats = love.

    Pic of you riding the same pony I had when I was 5 = OMFG hilarious.

  14. cmb0096

    Welcome home! It sounds like an awesome (food filled) trip, and really, is there any other kind of awesome trip than a food filled one?! Yum!

    I am glad you had a good time, but I am also selfishly glad that you are back to posting–I missed my hummus, nutritional yeast, and apple eating soul sister 🙂

    Apple count for today? 2. And it is only 7:30 am…this is going to be quite the day, me thinks…


  15. blueeyedheart

    Wow you were spoiled by them! 😉 Whatever works, right?!

    I don’t have in-laws (unless you count sisters- and brothers-in-law!)… but I’ve seen enough in-law relationships to be able to tell you that you’re extremely lucky! :p

    I particularly like the rocking horse picture.

    <3 <3

  16. Quinn

    That is so wonderful that they are so accommodating to your lifestyle. And not just accommodating, but that food looks divine! Your Christmas tree chopping looked quite similar to mine, minus the booze after, which would have been much more fun.

    As for my in-laws, I’m very lucky. They’re warm and wonderful people and support me and the hubs in all we do. More than I can say for my fam! 🙂

    Glad you had such a good time!

  17. ksgoodeats

    Could you imagine date the WFs heir? I wonder who that is….or the Sabra?!

    YUM to the curry!! Me likey! Hahah – love the horse picture! I think you hit the jackpot in terms of in laws! I don’t have any YET but hopefully they’ll be just as good as yours are.

  18. julie

    stop this. i’m wondering if kyle’s parents have room in there house for say another person…maybe me..

    they are without a doubt the awesomest people in the world to supply you with all that food lovin.

    i don’t have inlaws but i’m thinking kyle’s sound pretty damn good right now..haha i keeed

  19. Katie


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  20. prettyladycmu

    A: Totally awesome, mammoth tree!!

    B: Yay for drunk hippie! It’s fun once in a while, yes? 🙂

    C: That pumpkin dish looks fabulous

    D: You really do have the greatest inlaws ever. Glad you had a wonderful time!

  21. tangerinesandmarmalade

    What a stellar weekend! Life is so much easier when you get along with your inlaws. I agree, there are a lot of horror stories out there!
    I’m currently drooling over that pumpkin dish.

  22. Anna

    What awesome and thoughtful in-laws.
    I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my in-laws – I get along with them quite well and enjoy spending time with them. My favorite part about my family is that they really make an effort to spend time with the in-laws as well, so it wasn’t too weird that after my dad had surgery, my father-in-law volunteered to spend a few days with him later on in his recovery. The same happens on the other side with my brother’s in-laws. My parents spend Christmas with their family. It works well, but I know it’s not the norm. Family rocks when it works 🙂

  23. Graze With Me

    Well my in-laws raise cattle. So. Meat. And lots of it. If I want any veggies (not drowned in butter) or fruit or nuts I have to bring it myself. It’s tough. I can actually hear my arteries slamming shut when I go there….

  24. Nadia

    Love the squash recipe! Do you think I can sub the walnut oil with sesame oil ?

  25. Jessica

    This was an amazeballs post! All that wonderful food, booze and great accepting family. So awesome. Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend!

  26. Brigid

    That pumpkin dish sounds so interesting. I want to try it!

  27. Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri)

    Hi there hippie! Can you please ask your in-laws to adopt me? That is all..thank you.

  28. kbwood

    this is SO SWEET! i love all the love in this post. what a blessing to be able to connect with your in laws. so encouraging!

  29. Lara (Thinspired)

    Let me just start by saying, I am so happy that you will have a good in-law situation. Not all of us can say that. :/

    So much good food here, Elise! Quinoa pilaf…yumm. Looks like you are truly having fun. And I can’t wait to try those Amy’s burgers! Love the Texas ones with BBQ sauce.

  30. Katie

    Oh my gosh what AWESOME in-laws! I can’t believe all that amazing food they bestowed upon you.

    I also have the most amazing in-laws. They figured out (early on) that the way to win my heart was through my stomach, and the food gifts never stop. 🙂 Plus, they’re just good people. They live about 15 minutes from my husband and I – so that’s really good news.

    Glad you had such a good trip!

  31. lowandbhold

    I think they want you to move in WITH them… and I would totally do it if I were you. Amazing vegan deliciousness.

  32. Jenna

    wow! this was one HUGE but awesome post!

  33. snackface

    How in the world did you end up with the most amazing in-laws ever? This is outrageous and I’m sure it’s not even half of it. My own parents aren’t even that accommodating! Shoooo.

    Well, I’ve never had in-laws, but I’ve had boyfriends. The only one whose parents I saw more than once was when I was in high school, so clearly that wasn’t too serious. But he and his parents were Bosnian. I could barely understand them, but for some reason they loved me. His mom always tried to feed me fresh-baked bread. Oh the days…

    We must meet up soon!

  34. Tiffany S.


    I get along with my in-laws but they’ve said things “I know you think we’re crazy, but ….” Their lives are just VERY chaotic (5 kids, four dogs, crazy schedules, etc). All in all I consider myself VERY lucky after hearing some horror stories (I have a great friends whose wife’s family completely ignores as if he’s not there when he visits. SO weird and RUDE!).

    Glad you had a safe trip!

  35. merittothecarrot

    SUPER POST! Love the eats. Especially the stuffed pumpkin. wow, that’s all I can say…

  36. Shelby

    Oh lawd! The food in this post is just phenom! I love it all! Love it love it love it.

  37. Chrysta

    awesome post! Loved the pics.. The “after two mimosas” pic was great=) The food looks absolutely amazing. How awesome to have such wonderful inlaws!!
    My inlaws are fabulous too! I lucked out that my husband has a great family!

  38. Jessica (jesslikesithot)


    And food, that I’ve been dying to try: Amy’s quarter pounder, dave’s killer bread, and all of those killa recipes especially. LOVE YOU! So happy to hear that the in-laws spoiled you rotten, you deserve it.

  39. Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    I love my in-laws! Although they aren’t super tolerant of how I eat they’re awesome to hang out with for sure.

    This food makes me major major majorly hungry. Mouthwatering!

  40. Michal

    You are one lucky lady! I dont know personally, but I know a lot of people have trouble with their in laws. It looks like you have one of the best sets around – you are in a vegans paradise! Hummus… mmm! I just had some and now your making me want some more. Ah temptation! 🙂

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  43. Teri

    Oh this makes me so happy. My in-laws just don’t get me and the way I eat. They are all extremely overweight and get very offended when I won’t/can’t eat their food (I have IBS too). They’ve tried a couple times (like making me healthy chicken while I was on a run and I came back to find the chicken baking in the oven in 3″ of oil – no joke), and I think we’ve all kind of given up on each other. They buy me Kashi cereal and I survive on that while I visit. Luckily for my health visits are infrequent. 😉

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  49. brigid

    do you have any ideas for this recipe but without the orange/orange juice? I always see delicious recipes with orange in them and I am allergic. 🙂

  50. Elise (Post author)

    hmmm…are you allergic to all citrus?

    id probably just omit it. i cant think of anything that will sub quite right so give the same flavor. maybe try another juice?
    if you can use lemon juice give it a shot (but it could be too strong so reduce it by half at least)

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