Friday, November 18, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving

Guess who's bad at blogging lately?? Oh, that would be me. With two jobs it's a little difficult to make time for my blog sometimes. So sad. Anyway...

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!!

Less than a week away! Eek!

So when you think of Thanksgiving, you probably think of turkey, right? Eating turkey on Thanksgiving is considered "normal" and "traditional." Well that doesn't have to be true.

Save the turkeys!!

So I wanted to write a blog dedicated to vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving food. I know it seems strange to some people, but it can be done!!



Let's start with Tofurky...

You can buy it as a "feast" that includes sides or just the Tofurky alone. It even comes with stuffing inside.


nutri_feast_feast.html.jpg



Another idea, if you're a little weirded out by the Tofurky, a vegan "meatloaf". I found this recipe on the Kiss Me I'm Vegan blog that sounds pretty simple. She said it was "father-in-law approved." Apparently this meat-eater got seconds! I think I'm going to try making this for Thanksgiving!


Father-In-Law Approved Vegan Meatloaf

1 14oz. package GimmeLean sausage 
 (make sure to get sausage, not beef)
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp of dried parsley 
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 servings of EnerG Egg Replacer 
 (mixed with water according to directions on the package)
3 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp olive, safflower, or coconut oil
1 tbsp all-purpose white flour

Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl with your hands until they just come together.  Put in a lightly oiled loaf pan and sprinkle some extra nutritional yeast on top. Bake at 350 degrees  for 45 minutes, or until loaf is heated completely through and browned nicely on top.



Stuffing:

large_RAneXy5rGYO8zNOuC7gU.jpg


Stove Top Pork Stuffing Mix is actually vegan. I'm not sure about the other varieties of this brand, but I know that this one is pork-free!

Also, Whole Foods sells a vegan stuffing if you don't trust the Stove Top stuff.


Side ideas:

IMG_9931.JPG.jpg


Mac & "Cheese"! Such a delicious side to go along with Thanksgiving dinner.

Mashed potatoes can be made just like traditional recipes if you use vegan butter and unsweetened soy or almond milk. Along with some mushroom gravy, mmm talk about tasty!

Vegetables are easy. My family always makes black eyed peas and green beans for sides. Just DON'T ADD BACON!!! 

Collard greens. I've made the best collard greens in the world using this recipe. Before trying this one I didn't even like collard greens.

Cranberry sauce, if you like that stuff... ew.


Desserts:

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I've made this pumpkin pie a couple times. It's your basic pumpkin pie, but veganized and just as tasty!

And I reeeeaaally want to make this Sweet Potato Cake! It looks fabulous!



Alright, I hope you can see now that Thanksgiving doesn't have to be all about the turkey! I hope everyone has a lovely holiday and enjoy the time with your family!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Peanutty Noodles with Spinach and Cucumber



OMG, you guys. I just came across this recipe while browsing Hello Giggles, my recent obsession btw. As I read through it, I realized I had ALL of the ingredients in my kitchen! My tummy started growling and I knew just what to do!


(recipe copied from hello giggles-- click on over for much better pictures than mine!)
http://hellogiggles.com/peanutty-noodles-with-spinach-and-cucumber


Peanutty Noodles with Spinach and Cucumber

serves 2 as a dinner with leftovers
hands-on time: about 15 minutes
total time: 20 minutes

What you’ll need:

1 package of spaghetti 
1/2 of a cucumber, cut into 1 in long strips
few handfuls (2-4 cups) of torn fresh spinach
oil of your choice (I suggest canola or sesame but whatever you’ve got will be fine)

for the sauce:
3/4 cup of broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps rice vinegar
1/2 cup of low-fat peanut butter
1 tsp of fresh garlic
glob of honey
powdered ginger to taste

1. Put the pasta in the boiling water and then start chopping the cucumbers. You can do them julienne, but I just kind of hacked them into strips on this particular night and it worked fine; I like this recipe with the cucumber skin on, but peel them first if you want.
2. Place the cucumbers in the bottom of a large bowl and drizzle on a teensy bit of oil.
3. Tear the fresh spinach and put it on top of the cucumbers, covering them.
4. Assemble the ingredients for the sauce and place them all in a blender; blend on a low setting. If it seems a bit watery, add in another finger-scoop of peanut butter and blend again.
5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and then quickly dump all of it on top of the spinach and the cucumbers in the bowl. Make sure all of the vegetables are covered. The idea is that the heat of the noodles steams the spinach a little bit.
6. Leave the bowl for about 4 or 5 minutes. Pee, file your nails, teach your dog how to give paw, whatever.
7. Return to the bowl. The spinach should be just wilted. Stir so the vegetables and pasta are mixed, then pour on the sauce and stir again.
8. Garnish with whatever you’d like; I used cilantro, but green onions, sesame seeds, or actual peanuts would be good, too. No garnish is also fine. Oh, and you’ll most likely have leftovers!



This bowl is seriously so tasty and simple! Basically just boil the noodles, chop some cucumber, and mix the sauce. I just subbed a couple things: whole wheat spiral noodles instead of spaghetti noodles and agave instead of honey. Plus you will be very full afterwards...



And sorry for the terrible quality cell phone pictures!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

Well, it's that time again... That time where I'm all like "it's been a while." Haha I don't know what it is, but sometimes I just abandon my blog.

This time, it started when I couldn't find my camera battery charger. I must have lost it sometime during my move in June and I still can't find it! So my camera is dead... sad day! And I've been super lazy about finding a new charger for it. I suppose I could find something on amazon, a camera website, or somewhere on the internet. Oh, technology!

Also, my computer is currently being fixed right now. I've been taking some pictures from my phone, but nothing in detail. I'll probably post some new stuff soon with really crappy un-edited cell phone pictures. Get ready! Haha



My birthday was last weekend and Scott got me these cute little vegan cupcakes from a local cupcake shop called Whipped Cupcakes. They'll make you some vegan cupcakes if you call in and order them. So awesome! They even have vegan cupcakes available in the store on weekends. And let me tell ya, they're DELISH!


Monday, August 8, 2011

My guest blog for The Veggie Queen: Cashew Cheese


This is my most recent blog post on The Veggie Queen about cashew cheese.
*Also, I've been making some variations to my cashew cheese each time I make it. Try adding things like this to your cashew cheese to change the flavor/texture:
tahini, carrot, brown mustard, and MUCH more nutritional yeast!!


Cashew Cheese Post by Maggie Sloan


This is another post by my "virtual" intern Maggie Sloan, a vegan nutrition school graduate working her way toward becoming a Registered Dietitian.
I have learned how to cook some really awesome food since becoming vegan earlier this year. I love it! It’s so much more creative than the traditional American diet. I’ve eaten/made so many dishes I never would have thought about if I were not vegan. One of my favorites that I’ve made so far is cashew cheese!
Some people miss cheese when they become vegan. There are a lot of great vegan cheese brands out there now to help with this loss, for instance Daiya and Follow Your Heart. If you like eating raw, cashew cheese is something healthy you can make with just a few ingredients. This is totally new to me, but from the moment I heard about “cashew cheese,” I was intrigued. I imagined the process would be long and complicated, but it was super simple! I wanted to make it immediately!
The whole concept of cashew cheese sounds sorta crazy, but the key is soaking the cashews. That way they blend easier. (Although I did see a recipe where you didn't need to soak them… Hmm.)

Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews. (not roasted or salted)
1 cup water
2-3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
dash of cayenne pepper
Directions:
Place the raw cashews in a bowl and soak in water for at least 2 hours.
(I soaked mine for 3 hours, but you can soak them overnight or while you're at work.)
cashews for cashew cheese
Place the cashews and half of the water in a food processor/blender along with all other ingredients. Blend until desired consistency. (You can add more water if needed.)
cashew cheese in process
And this is the final product!

Finshed Cashew Cheese

See how easy?! Just soak cashews and blend everything together. It turned out so tasty and has tons of flavor! Some recipes tell you to refrigerate for several hours so it will set and become firmer, but you can eat it just like this. You can do so much with this cashew cheese. Eat it with crackers, as a veggie dip, a spread on a sandwich or wrap, eat it mixed in a salad, or whatever you desire. It's so versatile and yummy.

Cashew Cheese on Crackers

Yay vegan cheese!





The Veggie Queen  footnote: After trying Dr. Cow nut cheese, I decided that I want to learn how to make great nut and seed cheeses. I have just started experimenting and made my first cashew and sunflower cheese, (the photo of it vanished or it would be posted. It was a bit firmer than Maggie's cheese). I must say, that I have a ways to go before this cheese is going to satisfy me but this was a good start. I will keep experimenting until I get it "right". 
I recently attended a cooking demonstration by Chad Sarno who really knows his way around a raw kitchen and he uses a probiotic capsule for the fermentation. I am going to experiment with making my own rejuvelac from a gluten-free source. Sarno recommended dehydrating the cheese to form a rind. Here's a link to his recipe. When I have something to report, you'll hear it here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Overnight Oats

Ok, so it's reeeally hot out. How does a hot bowl of oatmeal sound for breakfast?? Totes unappealing, am I right? No one wants to eat a hot breakfast like that when it's 95 degrees outside. Oof! 

But I found a better way to eat your oatmeal. Eat it cold. Sounds sorta weird at first, but these overnight oats are sooo good! No stove or microwave involved = no sweating at breakfast! 

Overnight oats are super easy, so easy that you don't even need a bowl. My favorite way to make them is in a nut butter jar that is almost empty. You probably want to save at least a tablespoon in the bottom with a little bit on the sides. In this case I used an almond butter jar. I even added more peanut butter since I'm such a pb lover!



Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup nondairy milk
1/3 cup nondairy yogurt
fruit of your choice (I used blueberries)
sliced almonds
more peanut butter (optional)

Directions:

At night before you go to bed, throw everything into your jar and mix together. Keep in the fridge overnight.


ingredients

almost empty almond butter jar

mmmm almonds and Dark Chocolate Dreams PB... AMAZING!

handful of bluebs

stir it all up!

Alright, so the next morning you open up your fridge and grab your breakfast! You can even take it to go.

I like to add ground flax seed in the morning

YUM!!

Delicious breakfast!!




If you aren't running low on peanut butter and don't have a jar to use, this works well in a tupperware container or a yogurt container. Basically anything that can be covered and put in the fridge. Even if you're not really an oatmeal fan I think you should give this a try! I have a hard time making hot oatmeal taste good, but I am always pleasantly pleased when I make overnight oats!

Ps- It's really filling, so you won't get hungry for a while!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Southwestern Couscous Salad

I found this delicious recipe on the Whole Foods website. It's such a simple and tasty dish that is perfect for summer. Almost like a different spin on my corn & black bean salsa. You can eat it on a bed of greens, as a side, and it's even great in a wrap with some spinach and hummus.




Southwestern Couscous Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous (*use quinoa to make it gluten free!)
1 1/2 cup black beans (or 1 15-oz can), drained and rinsed 
1 cup fresh corn kernels (2 ears), I cheated & used a can of no salt added corn
1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1-2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice (or more to taste)
3/4 tsp chili powder

(note: I thought the pumpkin seeds and raw zucchini would be strange at first, but it was so perfect and fresh! Def don't skip em!)


Directions:

Get to chopping! Chop the cilantro, tomatoes, zucchini, red pepper. 
Place your vegetables in a very large mixing bowl along with the pepitas, corn, and black beans.


Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat.
Let stand 5 minutes.
It should look like this!


Fluff couscous with a fork and toss into the bowl with all the vegetables.
Add the lime juice and chili powder and mix together.





This makes a HUGE amount of food. I believe it serves 8. The bf and I ate this stuff for days! I'm actually surprised at how long it lasted, we rarely have leftovers because we usually we can't stop eating! What can I say, we are true vegan fat kids. But this recipe is very healthy, low fat, low sodium, and high in fiber! It would be perfect for any summer barbeque that vegans and non vegans will all enjoy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kale Chickpea Mash

Two things I always have in my kitchen: kale and chickpeas. So when I was searching vegweb.com for chickpea recipes one night, I knew I had to make this one. Even if you don't normally like eating greens, this is a good tasty way to do so. The spices and nutritional yeast give this dish so much savory flavor.

Kale Chickpea Mash

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 half medium onion
1 bunch of kale (I actually didn't have a whole bunch)
1 can garbanzo beans (or 1 1/2 cups soaked beans)
1 Tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup nutritional yeast


Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pan and sautee the garlic and onions on medium until garlic turns golden brown, just a few minutes.


Add the kale and coat it with the oil and garlic. You may want to add a few tablespoons of water. The kale will begin to wilt.


Add garbanzo beans and cook for about 4 minutes. 


Add remaining ingredients and stir.


Mash the chickpeas with a fork and continue mixing together.


Add more nutritional yeast and sesame seeds if desired.
Remove from heat and serve hot.


Delicious flavor and healthy too!

I've already made this recipe at least three times in the past couple weeks. It's so quick and tasty that I just want it all the time. Last time I added spinach and arugula in there as well. Loading up on greens! Haha so if you're looking for a quick healthy dish with loads of flavor you should definitely try this!