Friday, October 22, 2010

How do you like them apples?!

I am going to a Halloween party tomorrow. I didn't know what to bring until I read Peas and Thank you. Mama Pea made vegan Carmel apples. I have never had them, so I decided to try them out. The only boo boo I made was not having a candy thermometer. Apparently I didn't cook the carmel long enough, so it just runs off the apples. You can't get it off your hands or the pan, but it doesn't like apples! I wasn't about to whip up more carmel sauce since it takes enough ingredients. I hate wasting. The peeps at the party will just have to scrap the carmel back onto the apple! It's more fun that way... ;) 

I'm not even going to list the ingredients and process...just go to Mama Peas link and see for yourself. However, here are my apples!

After their bath! 




With their runny sauce




For dinner I tried a new tofu recipe. My Mom found it for me. It's called Buffalo Tofu Bites. When I make my tofu, I typically make it buffalo style, without breading. This has breading. I am in love with franks red hot sauce and any excuse to eat it, I will! --For dinner, I also had roasted potatoes and spinach salad. There are a lot of potatoes on the plate. I haven't had them in a while.

Buffalo Tofu Bites

1 lb extra-firm tofu -- drained and pressed
3/4 cup franks red hot sauce
1 cup panko or bread crumbs
1/8 cup flax seed
8 Vegan Ritz crackers
spices you want to add

 Cut the pressed tofu into bite size cubes, place in a bowl, and cover with hot sauce. Marinate for 1 hour or over night.

In a blender, mix together panko, crackers, and flax seed. Season to taste.

Remove tofu from marinate and dredge through crumb mixture. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Drizzle with 1/2-1 ratio melted butter and franks hot sauce. Enjoy!


 To make the potatoes I just cube them, drizzle with olive oil and spices.

I make my own dressing. I've never been a fan of the store bought. It is called Spinach Salad Dressing.  


Spinach Salad Dressing

1 cup oil (I use 1/2 olive, 1/2 canola)
3/4 cup sugar (I use less)
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce 
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar

Place all ingredients except oil in a blender. Slowly drizzle in oil to emulsify. It will look like french dressing. 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's that time of year!


I finally had a day off where I didn't have many errands to do. I was able to get into the kitchen and make a few things that I have not shared with you yet! 

For Brunch (Brunch only because I forgot to eat breakfast, duh) I had a pancake. I found the best recipe for pancakes! They are much fluffier than the original. Initially, when I wrote down this recipe I copied it wrong. They still turned out but it was funny when one morning Mom and I had made up the batter and we were waiting for my Dad to get home before making them... while sitting at the kitchen table we hear something and we look over and see that the batter has risen so far out of the bowl it was over flowing! See,  instead of 1 tbsp of baking powder I had written down 2 tbsps! I'm a dork! I had been making it this way for a good year before Mom said I think this is wrong and we should try it with only 1 tbsp. 

Vegan Pancakes

1 cup of flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder (not 2!)
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp oil

Mix dry, add wet. Mix and cook. -- I halved this recipe to just make one pancake for myself. I cannot eat more than one. I was also out of maple syrup so I used blue agave nectar.  





For dinner I made Savory Cabbage Soup. I got this recipe from a magazine and then modified it. I love soup and I'm always looking for new ones to try. The original recipe just called for cabbage, carrots, vegetable broth, onions, and rice. I added beans, vegetable bouillon, and other spices.  I have also left out the water and added more vegetable broth, to add more flavor. It's up to you. 

Savory Cabbage Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small cabbage, cleaned and cut small
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/2 cup jasmine rice
good hand full of chopped carrots
good hand full of diced onions
1 vegetable boullion cube
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
spices

Saute carrots, onions, and cabbage in oil. Add broth, water, beans, bouillon, and spices. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Add rice, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.  

As I was eating my soup and grilled cheese I remembered that I had forgotten to take a picture so here it is in the pot!
Enjoy! :o)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kale Chips Please!

Yes, I know I haven't written in a very long time! I haven't tried anything new and have finally got a job! It isn't in the field I went to school for but it pays! Plus I do not want this blog to be about my life, I want it to be about the vegan part of my life. Things I want to share about being a vegan; not what I did all day! Therefore, I should seriously change the blog name. Perhaps to something like The Picky Vegan?! Any thoughts? It took me forever to even come up with this one.

After my monthly trip to Whole Foods, I went to make Kale Chips again. I thought I posted the recipe on this blog, but couldn't find it. So here it is again. It is taken from Mama Pea.

Kale Chips

One large bunch of kale, rinsed and torn into pieces
Spices


I recently made Mama Peas's BBQ Kale chips, so that is what is in the picture below. Today I made Salt and Pepper Kale Chips. * While writing Salt and Pepper, I then immediately sang to myself "Shoop" by Salt-N-Pepa haha! It's kind of like when you hear "who you gonna call?" I immediately say Ghost Busters. Yeah, I know I'm a dork! 

The presentation looks horrible, but I was hungry and in a hurry! With my kale chips I had a veggie dog with sauerkraut! The only reason I eat veggie dogs is for the sauerkraut I can eat with it! 





Every once in a while my Mom wants cookies. So, I made her Peanut butter cookies! Her favorite! Which I got from Sarah Kramer's book La Dolce Vegan


Peanut butter Cookies


1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg replacer
3 tbsp of water
2 cups of flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt


Cream together butter, PB, sugar, and egg replacer. Add dry ingredients and stir well. Roll into one inch balls and place on parchment paper. Fork them! Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. 





I finally went to the Vegan restaurant in Nashville called the Wild Cow! It was awesome! I can't wait to go back. I had a buffalo sandwich with tempeh and tofu! So good! I love being able to go to a restaurant and to not have to worry and eat more than one item from the menu. 


Also, for my birthday my parents got me a vegan cupcake-cake from Fiddlecakes! OMG! They were so good! Fiddlecakes is a little cafe/bakery place in Nashville. They have desserts, sandwiches, soup, coffee, etc. They accommodate vegans! 
Isn't it pretty?! :o)

Hope you all have a great weekend! I'll be working from now until eternity!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two dinners and a dessert!

Since I have been slacking on the blog, I thought I would add a few recipes that I have made since the last post. I have been busy!  In fact, one recipe I made will not be shown because I'm not finished. It is cup cakes and I haven't iced them yet.

I read a few vegan blogs faithfully every day. I mentioned Peas and Thank You in the last post. Mama Pea can make anything vegan and I mean anything! She is awesome! I recommend reading her blog...in addition to mine that is! :o)  She decided to do cheese stuffed bean burgers. The recipe looked very interesting to me. It didn't look like the other bean burger recipes I had seen. So, I had to make them! I cut the recipe in half because it is only me eating them, not a family of four. They were awesome! I think the only thing I would do different is add more spices. I also did not use her cheese filling. I just shredded some of my vegan gourmet cheddar cheese and put it in the middle. Go check out her blog and recipe for cheese stuffed bean burgers!

Here is a picture of mine. The patties were huge because I flattened it a lot to make sure the cheese melted. 
It was my Dad's birthday-dinner night. Naturally my Mom made him home-made hamburgers and fries. His favorite... *rolls eyes* --Notice my home-made pickles too! 




 That night I also tried another Mama Pea recipe. Home-made Reese cups! I was ecstatic when I saw this. I absolutely love love love peanut butter and chocolate together. Prior to becoming a vegan that was my candy of choice. Of course the bastards make them with dark chocolate after I became a vegan, but I digress. These are better! And so simple. 


Just take 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate. Melt it in a double broiler or in the microwave. 


Take 1/4 cup peanut butter + 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes and mix together.  * I would also suggest using milk instead of flakes. Doing that makes it even more awesome. I will do that next time.


Take muffin liners and put 1 tbsp of the melted chocolate down. Then add a tbsp of the peanut butter, then cover with another tbsp of chocolate. Freeze until set. O...M..G!!! They were awesome. It was good I only made 2 each for us or we would have eaten the whole batch! 


The picture isn't all that pretty. My camera battery is almost dead and I'm a messy preparer! lol Next time I'll do better and re-post.
And finally, for dinner tonight I made tofu-veggie pot pie for myself and chicken ones for my parents. I found the best crust recipe. I love eating raw dough. Yes, I know I'm weird. This dough was awesome. So I knew the crust would be too. What's nice is it can be used for anything. Pies, dinner, whatever. The filling recipe comes from my La Dolce Vegan cookbook by Sarah Kramer. I have modified it to fit my taste buds. And since I'm notorious for not measuring, this should be interesting. 


Tofu-Veggie Pot Pie

Crust
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
6 tbsp ice cold water


Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Add water and mix until dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes. When ready for pie. Cut into two and roll out on floured surface. 

Filling 
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 celery stalks
1 large carrot
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/4 -1/2 block of extra-firm tofu, drained
1 - 1 1/4 cup of vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk


I made them in 6 individual dishes. You can just as easily make them in a casserole dish. 
 In a large sauce pan add onions and oil and saute until translucent. Add in peppers, celery, carrots and saute for additional 2-3 minutes. Add the potatoes, peas, tofu, stock, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes. Stir in flour and milk and simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Transfer to baking dish. Bake on 400 degrees  for 20-25 minutes.






Hope you guys enjoy! :o)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm back!

Hi Peeps! Sorry for the long delay between posts. I have been busy and for a minute there forgot I had a blog to write! Whoops. After going to school for seven years to be a school psychologist, I am now working in retail! Wooo  Quite sad, but better than not having a job at all! I believe I will enjoy working at this new job. It isn't forever. 

I also haven't tried anything new since the last post. I should have named my blog The Picky Vegan. I tend to eat the same things. I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast and salad with some other protein for dinner. I could have shared a few things I eat, but like I said, I forgot. I'm sorry, there will be other times! 

My parents gave me an early birthday gift! It was kind of hard to have me wait since I found it, showed it to my Mom, then it came in the mail. Granted I didn't read the box when it came in, which is not like me. She thought I did and gave it to me early anyways. On to what I got!!!!! Extremely excited about this. A Tofu Press! EEEE :o)   



Since I started cooking tofu, I learned it is hard to get all of the water out. You have to press that thing in between two towels for like 3 hours to get it dry enough. I never plan that far in advance so mine usually only sits for 30 minutes. This then usually causes me to get burned if I'm frying it in a pan. Hot oil and water DO NOT mix! I now bake my tofu, much easier. So, all this time I've been thinking there should be some kind of contraption for getting all the water out. Well, low and be hold...I was reading Peas and Thank You blog (one of my favorites) and she had a tofu press on there. I asked her where she got it and she gave me the web page and said it's worth it!

I couldn't wait to try it out.  
 As you can see the water pools on top. And you just drain it off when you've let it sit long enough. Again, the directions said to let it press for 1 hour or overnight. I only did 30 minutes lol. This was mainly because I was going to try a new recipe and it called for marinating the tofu for an hour as well. I only did 30 minutes! :o) It all worked out.  Also notice that my tofu is lop sided? It did that when I would press it with two towels and a grill press? I'm not sure. Maybe our counters are not level. 

I tried this new recipe called Oven Fried Tofu. It was really good! 

Oven Fried Tofu

o      1 block of tofu
o      ¼ cup soy sauce
o      ¼ cup water
o      ¼ cup flour
o      ¼ cup cornmeal
o      ¼ cup nutritional yeast
o      Spices (use whatever you like, I used paprika, red pepper, black pepper, garlic powder)

Drain tofu for 1 hour or over night (30 minutes!). Marinate in soy sauce and water for 1 hour or over night (30 minutes). Cut into fillets. Dredge through flour, cornmeal, spices mixture. Place on slightly oiled pan and bake at 425˚  for 30 minutes

Marinating the tofu, notice the lid!!! It's an all in one dish, drains tofu and allows you to marinate it as well! Awesome!


After dredging through flour mixture and placing on stoneware


What it looks like when it's done cooking! Yum 
Doesn't look like much because Madre and I already sampled a few! :o)

And there you have it! I absolutely love my new tofu press! I learned on another website I follow that you can make your own yogurt at home! I'm really excited about that and plan to make the purchase one day. Especially since I have to drive 45 minutes once a month to buy plain yogurt at Whole Foods. Kroger only has the fruit ones. I like them but I like the plain better. Less sugar and more versatile. 

More too come...there are  a lot of birthday's this month. So, I will be baking! :o)

Friday, August 27, 2010

The BEST Smoothie Ever!!!!

HOLA! Are you ready for the weekend? I am! Even though I don't have a job, I still look forward to it! 

Mi Madre and I are going to our counties Farmer's Market tomorrow! I hope they have some good stuff! 

You know how I love my smoothies! Well, I think I have created the best one yet! I love peanut butter and chocolate together, so I decided to make one that was healthy. Of course! First, you start with frozen banana's. They have become my new best friend! You can make them into ice cream or add them to your smoothies! Cleo, my cat, even eat's banana's. If I am eating one, she hunts me down until I share with her. She likes a lot of my food. Annahbelle, not so much! She'll eat a few things, mostly carbs. I had to post Annahbelle's picture too, it's only fair. Even though she has no contribution to this post!
 On to the smoothie recipe...

Best Smoothie EVER! 

1/2-1 Frozen banana
1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Hemp milk (you can use whatever)
1 Tbsp Cocoa
1 Tbsp Peanut butter
1 Tbsp Flax seed
1 Tbsp Wheat Germ
A little Truvia. Anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 a packet.
And one handful of baby spinach 


I blend the bananas and a little bit of the hemp milk first, then add the rest. This tastes just like Purely Decadent's Peanut butter zig zag ice cream to me! But BETTER! I love it. 


Another recipe I'd like to share is roasted chickpeas. I absolutely love these things. I got the recipe from "Vegan Lunch Box" by Jennifer McCann. You can eat these as a snack or for dinner like I do! :o) The original recipe is called Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas. I add more spices to mine. So, if you want to make the original just leave out the spices.


Roasted Chickpeas 

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, and drained
2 Tbsp of oil (I use olive oil)
1-2 Tbsp of Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Sprinkle on any spices you want. I use Paprika, Red Pepper, salt, and pepper. 

After rinsing and draining the chickpeas, place on oven-safe pan with parchment paper. Add oil and coat well. Then add all your spices and mix. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. 
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Full Menu!

I've been trying new recipes from all the blogs I have recently discovered. I wish reading blogs like it's my job, was in fact, as job that paid! Because I'd be making some cash! :o)

So, here's the menu. Peanut-butter Chocolate Oatmeal for breakfast. Kale chips, wild rice tempeh and salad for dinner. AND Strawberry Banana "Ice cream" for dessert! The reason there isn't a lunch, is because I didn't try all this stuff in one day. It's been over the last few days. I decided to compile! Plus, lunch isn't typically my favorite meal of the day. I'm not sure why. It's not that I don't have things I could eat. I'm just not that hungry during this time. I usually drink a smoothie.

Peanut-butter Chocolate Oatmeal

I typically eat my oatmeal with milk, raisins, cinnamon, peanut-butter, and occasionally chocolate chips.
This time I decided to make it all chocolate. I thought it would be awesome. I found this topping recipe on the edible perspective blog (which is one of my favorites!) where you take 1 tablespoon of peanut-butter and 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk and microwave for about 20 seconds. It is awesome! 


Recipe
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup of oats
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 tsp truvia



topping
1tablespoon peanut-butter
1tablespoon non-dairy milk (I use almond)
sprinkle of chia seeds



 It was a little too rich for me, surprisingly! But you guys may like it. It is definitely a keeper though, modified. 


Kale Chips
I also found on a lot of the blogs, recipes for Kale Chips. They say they're just like eating potato chips! So, I had to try it! I've never had kale. I decided to make the salt and vinegar kale chips this time.  Next time I will try the BBQ. 


Recipe
1 Large bunch of kale (as much as salad spinner holds) 
2 tablespoons of apple-cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive olive
salt to taste

Clean and de-stem the kale, wash, and blot with towel.  Place in bite-size pieces on a baking tray (I used stoneware, we're big fans of Pampered Chef!). Sprinkle with vinegar, oil, and salt. Bake on 375 for 15 minutes. 


They were really good. I think next time I will use malt vinegar and make sure all of it's covered. I didn't taste the vinegar on all of them. They are so weird! I love them! I just wish Whole Foods wasn't so far away so I can make them more often! 


The rest of my dinner isn't anything new. I just had a large salad and wild-rice tempeh in a pita. Sorry for the ugly background. That's my Mom's tablecloth that I believe looks like christmas, she doesn't agree! Can I get some votes on what you think?!






And now for dessert! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE ICE CREAM!!! I could eat it all day long! Purely Decadent has an awesome brand of vegan ice cream. Peanut-butter zig zag is my favorite. 


I have been dying to share this recipe with you guys. When I learned about this I was dumb founded. Apparently, you can make ice cream out of bananas?!!! Craziness! So, you just freeze them, then put them in the food processor, and blend until creamy. I have a hard time eating it just like that because of the texture. The taste is good, just not the texture for me. However, when you add other things, especially non-dairy milk, it helps tremendously! 


Strawberry Banana Ice cream

My recipe is for three small bowls.  

2  frozen bananas
1/2-1 cup of frozen strawberries
3/4 cup of almond milk

Place all in food processor and wallah! Ice cream goodness! You can add anything you want. I'll be adding blueberries next time. I've added peanut-butter and chocolate before! Get crazy! haha :o)

 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wholefoods aka Vegan Mothership!

Sorry I have been m.i.a for a bit. Mi Madre was in the hospital. She's much better now!



Today I went for my monthly/bi-monthly shopping trip to Whole Foods! I never liked grocery shopping until I became a vegan. The only thing I hate is how expensive healthy foods are. Really pisses me off. It also keeps me from trying a lot of stuff. Bastards. Maybe one day I'll have money. 

I can usually get most of my staples at Krogers because Whole Foods is 30-45 minutes away :o( So, this makes my trip to Wholefoods that much more exciting, because I only get items I cannot get anywhere else and new items to try (price pending)! 

This time I will be trying asparagus, kale, and chia seeds. Now, I've eaten asparagus in stir-fry and soups but not any other way. I'd like to find a nice recipe or just grill it with some olive oil and spices. I've never had kale but I hear if you bake them they're like potato chips! So we shall see! Then, chia seeds are supposed to be the best thing ever. Apparently, the chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3. You just sprinkle a tablespoon in drinks or food, and wallah! It doesn't taste like anything, so no worries about what you can add it to. I added mine to yogurt and fruit.  


Here's what I had for lunch, using some of the items I purchased! 


Tempeh Pita


Pita bread
Half package of cooked Wild Rice Tempeh (Love this kind)
Hummus
Tomato
Vegan Gourmet Cheese (only vegan cheese I eat)

Fruit and Yogurt with Chia Seeds

1 container of plain Whole Soy & Co yogurt
Fresh organic strawberries
1 T of Chia Seeds
 

*Sorry my pictures suck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What have I gotten myself into?!

Hi peeps! 

Today was a day filled with trying new things. So you know that I've recently taken up canning. Mrs. Bobbie had also shared that she makes salsa and ketchup! And if you read my first post, you know how much I love ketchup! I figured, what the hell. I'll try it to make all this myself. Not even thirty minutes in, I am up to my elbows in tomato guts! I looked like I had been in a tomato fight, and I lost! ha ha I felt pretty good about the salsa recipe and my ability to make some kick-ass salsa.

As for the ketchup, the recipe just seemed weird. But as my Mom says, you follow the recipe right the first time, then modify if needed. The recipe calls for spices that you would not think went in ketchup. Like allspice, cinnamon, cloves, etc! So, you're suppose to let it simmer for an hour then add vinegar and salt. Then cook for another 30 minutes. Well, the time comes and it still looks like tomato juice. I then proceed to Mrs. Bobbie's house to get some advice. She comes over and raves about my salsa, but says the ketchup is no good. Apparently making homemade ketchup isn't like the store bought kind. In that, it isn't as thick. Then what's the point? I'm so confused. The recipes I found for ketchup do not call for a thickening agent. I don't know how they get it that way. I tried adding tomato paste and it didn't help too much. I gave up after 2.5 hours. I will not throw it away though. I'll add it to other recipes. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. :o( 

However, my salsa is kick ass! You have no idea how much different it tastes compared to store bought. Even the salsa we made before with canned tomatoes, has nothing on this! Mrs. Bobbie's recipe made about 2 and 3/4 quarts of salsa. I used quart jars instead of pints because we love salsa! I will definitely make more if I can have more tomatoes from her garden! 

From start to finish, it took about 4 hours to make all this! I knew it was an all day thing, but wow! This does not abstain me from canning and having my own garden one day. It just makes me want it that much more. Yes, it is a lot of hard work. But, it is worth it! I am happier with my food when I make it myself. I think I was born in the wrong century?!

I also made another new smoothie recipe. It was okay. I probably will not make it that way again. I recently learned about hemp milk, so this was my first time using it. It is very interesting. I got the unsweetened vanilla...definitely a different flavor. Not sure how I feel about it. You guys may like it so here it is. 

Banana-Peach Smoothie

1 peach
1 1/2 -2 frozen banana
1 cup hemp milk
pinch cinnamon
pinch dark cocoa

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hummus Anyone?!

I'm trying to perfect my hummus recipe! I can never get mine as smooth as others. No matter how much olive oil I add! So, here is the latest.

Remember, I'm not one for measuring! 

1  can chickpeas, rinsed 
2 tablespoons of Tahini (ground sesame seed, paste) 
2 or more tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 -1 teaspoon of parsley
1/2 -1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 -1 teaspoon of paprika (my favorite spice)
1/2 -1 teaspoon of red pepper
1/2 of a lemon/juice
salt and pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in food processor and let it run it's course until smooth. You can add any spices you'd like.
Serve with veggies, pita, crackers, whatever you want! 

The picture on the bottom is blurry, I assume because it's so freaking hot here in the south and my camera lens was cool. I need a better camera. 




 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RAWesomeness!

Hi Peeps! Sorry I haven't been blogging, but I had decided to do a partially raw detox (woo!). 

Probably should have thought more about the blog title since I'm not interesting enough to write daily. I mean, I could, but it would be a lot more randomness than it is now haha! Plus I forget to take pictures of my food for you guys to see when I post recipes.  I hope to become more like my fellow bloggers and remember to take a picture of my food prior to eating it!

Anywho, so last week I decided to do a raw diet. I didn't know anything about raw diets, so I naturally asked google what they knew! 

But before I get into that, I should back up and share some past history. About six months into being a vegan I decided to eat only raw fruits and vegetables to detox. It was not that great of an experience. The only thing I remember was being hungry all the time and feeling like crap! I didn't research it that well, so I had no idea that is how you're supposed to feel. I asked my friend/nutrition professor what she knew about detoxing. She was against it. I can't remember why. I just remember her asking me how I felt and I said like crap and she said see! Start eating, it's not necessary. So, I did.  No need to tell me twice! Now that I think back, I should have stuck with it for a a few more days to make sure I got all the crap out. You know, years of eating junk, pesticides, and whatever else they decide to throw in our foods! Bastards! 

So, this time I have my friend google barely helping me along on this one. There are tons of websites but, none of what I was really looking for. They all basically just informed me what a raw diet was, how to go about "going raw", etc. The recipes and food they shared, I was not familiar with. I was looking for a short-term raw detox. These people are raw for life! They eat only raw foods with nothing cooked above 110 degrees. They're extremely creative! The only kitchen appliances they need are: blender, food processor, dehydrator, and juicer! Craziness I tell you. Now don't get me wrong, I think what these people do is amazing, but a life of only raw is not for me! Just like being a vegan isn't for everyone. However, I would like to incorporate more raw foods into my diet because it is healthier. I know that when you cook fruits and veggies too long, they loose their nutrients. 

So, after not finding exactly what I was looking for, I just created my own. This detox has been way different than the first. I don't feel hungry for the majority of the time, which scares me because I'm hungry every 3 hours. AND I don't feel like crap. So, maybe I don't need to detox? Who knows, I'm confused and going to consult my online vegan nutritionist. 

Here's the game plan:
I eat Larabars for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch, and a salad with tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas for dinner. The protein I'm eating isn't raw of course, ew! But, like I said, I'm doing it my way! Larabars are pretty interesting little bars! They are made out of dates, spices, fruit, and nuts only! Sounds gross but they're actually pretty good! They have been keeping me full for at least 3-4 hours.  I've also been experimenting with smoothies. After reading a lot of raw websites, I learned these people are putting vegetables and things I have never thought of into a smoothie! For example, avocado and spinach! You don't taste it at all! I'm also adding a scoop of Amazing Meal into my smoothie for extra nutrients. 

I thought I'd share my latest smoothie concoction with you. 
*I don't measure so here's my best guess

Half package of silken tofu
1 cup of water (I usually use milk but I'm currently raw)
1 or 2 frozen bananas 
Hand full of strawberries
I scoop of Pomegranate-Mango Amazing Meal
About 2 hand fulls of washed baby spinach

And WALLAH




You thought it would be green! No, the amazing meal makes it chalk-y color. 

Here are a few of the raw websites I found! Very interesting stuff. Check out their recipes. 

http://vegweb.com/index.php?board=154.0
http://www.alissacohen.com/store/
http://goneraw.com/recipeshttp://www.rawvegansource.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?display=action&emptyoverride=yes&template=PDGCommTemplates/RVS/Cat_Superfoods.html

If you guys know anything about being raw, detoxes, or anything else. Please Share! I have no idea if I'm doing this correctly.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Freezeing Tomatoes?! Whaaattt???!!!

Earlier this week I tried freezing tomatoes for the first time! I didn't think it could be done. I mean, have you ever seen frozen tomatoes in the store?! I think not! 

This past year I decided I wanted to learn how to can, after reading about how bad canned tomatoes are.  Plus, it is just healthier and I plan to have my own garden one day. Being I have the summer off, I had plenty of time to do whatever I wanted. My days consisted of walking many miles on the greenway, doing light yard work, house/animal/baby sitting, trying new recipes, etc. 

I then remembered that our neighbor, Mrs. Bobbie, cans! I walked myself over and asked her if she'd teach me how to can and she said yes! I was extremely happy! She taught me how to can pickles, green beans, and tomatoes. I do not have the equipment to can yet, so no can goods for me this year. :o(  They do however, share with us vegetables from their garden! 

This is where freezing tomatoes come in. My Mom had mentioned that we could freeze tomatoes. I told her I had never heard of such a thing. Especially when you get store tomatoes and they're nasty because they had been frozen. She said "according to online" you can! I said ehhh...I don't know. -Sorry for doubting you Mom and the wonderful Internet- Then, my friend Melissa sent me a message talking about helping her parents in their garden and freezing tomatoes. I ask her to please share the "know-how" on how one goes about doing such a thing. And now I will share my knowledge with you peeps, just in case you didn't know already. The only thing I am skeptical about is when it comes time to use the tomatoes. I can picture me now with a screw driver and a hammer trying to pry apart the tomatoes! ha ha Seriously though! We shall see!  

So here they are! According to Melissa you are to....


~Freezing tomatoes~
1. Wash tomato
2. Barely slice into the bottom flesh of each tomato with a knife.
3. Place in a pot of hot water cooking on the stove. Keep in hot water for approx 1-2 min. If I see the skin is splitting up the side, I will go ahead and remove the tomato from the water.
4. Place tomato in cold water and the skin will fall off with very little prodding! Core the top out, cut in quarters or however you like and place in a freezer bag


However, I did not follow her directions exactly. I just peeled the tomatoes over a bowl and put them in a bag. This is how Mrs. Bobbie taught me to can tomatoes. Wash, peel, cut, shove in jar! 
Do whatever floats your boat!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Smoothie Recipe

I got this recipe from the Skinny Bitch recipe book. I highly recommend reading their books if you are considering becoming a vegan. 

The recipe is super easy and fantastic! 
2 cups of frozen fruit
1 cup of soy/almond/whatever you want milk

Simple as that. I throw flax seed, wheat germ, and this amazing meal stuff in mine. Mainly because I drink smoothies as a meal and want to get as much as I can from it. 
Enjoy!


Welcome to Daily Vegan!

Well hello there!

I decided to start this blog after numerous friends asked for recipes, etc. I had never considered doing a blog until someone suggested it. Special thanks to Beadworks by Marcy! My goal is that the blog will be helpful and interesting!  


Let's first define what a vegan is, I find that the majority do not know! You think you do, but you don't! A vegan is someone who does not consume or wear anything animal. This includes anything that comes from an animal. For example, gelatin, often found in jell-o comes from animal bones. Yes, that's what I said. I'm sorry if you'll think twice before eating gelatin again, but then again, you should! 


So, I decided to start off telling you why I decided to become a vegan. Sit back and get situated because I tend to tell long stories. I always have to start at the very beginning.

It all started around the age of 10. That is when I learned what/where meat came from (gasps)! Now, I had always read labels, even if I didn't know what the words meant. However, I have to read everything I see. It's just something I do! I'm especially skilled at reading the fine print on commercials. There is a lot hiding in there people! Back to meat. I decided to become a vegetarian. It lasted a short while because I apparently was anemic. Who knows if this was due to lack of eating meat or not eating properly. I go with the latter. This really concerned my Mom and the doctor. I was told my only option was to go back to eating meat. Eww. (They were wrong by the way) So, I did, because I didn't know anything. I am also an extremely picky eater. You'd think it would get better as I got older, um no! This often annoyed my Mom and Grandma, mostly Grandma though. I just wanted to make them happy so I continued to eat meat for a very, very long time to appease. 


When I left for college at 17, I did not eat meat unless I had to. I lost 15 pounds. Instead of gaining the freshman fifteen, I lost! It was needed though, I was slightly above my weight for my height. I was about 20/21 years-old when I told my Mom I couldn't eat meat anymore. I told her I just couldn't force myself to continue on this way. I was miserable after I ate. I pretty much felt nauseated after every meal. I used A LOT of condiments at meals to cover up the taste of meat. Ketchup was my best friend! My Mom, being the awesome person she is, understood. She voiced concerns about getting enough protein, iron, and what not. I told her I would research and learn! So, that's what I did. I was officially, a lacto-ovo-vegetarian! YEY! I was very much relieved. I ate no meat or eggs and some dairy. Now if eggs happen to be in the recipe I ate it, but not the eggs themselves. They smell horrible to me. 


I was a vegetarian for about a year and a half. During this time, I worked in a gifted-research lab at WKU. The professor over the lab was Dr. Anne Rinn, who is awesome by the way! She had recently converted to a vegetarian as well. She informed me that she was slowly going to convert to being a vegan. I had no clue what a vegan was. I believe it was she who told me about the book Vegan Freak. In August of 2007, I had just moved to Chattanooga for graduate school. I decided to purchase this book and see what it was all about. Well folks, after reading that book there was no going back! I was enlightened on the subject of what was really in our foods and what it does to your body, the animals, and our planet! I was shocked. I had been oblivious to the whole matter! From then on, I read as much as I could. I have never been happier with myself and especially with my food. Now, I only feel nauseated after I eat, if I eat something I did not like. Which is rare. I believe I was destined to be a vegan. I never liked meat, milk, or eggs. I am missing nothing! This month marks my third year of being a vegan!


So, there you have it! I tell people that I am a vegan for three reasons. 
1. Animal Cruelty
2. It's healthy
3. I've never liked meat.