Saturday, April 27, 2013

Red Potatoes with Zucchini and Black Beans

For breakfast today, I made a red potato scramble with garlic, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, and cilantro.




I also heard some great news from my parents. They just adopted Joanie! She is half German Shepherd, half Shiba Inu.






We definitely love our animals in this family! :) I have two cats and a rabbit myself.

My little girl, Lexi, on the left and Cody on the right. 





And my nearly 10 year old rabbit, Angel.





Friday, April 26, 2013

Everest Indian Restaurant

Friday nights are turning into my solo night out! I stopped by Everest Indian Restaurant for dinner tonight.

Everest Indian Restaurant is vegan friendly and I found them on happycow.net. I walked in and the staff were welcoming and attentive. After looking at the menu, I was trying to decide between the Vegetable Jalfrezy and the Aloo Cauli. I ordered the Vegetable Jalfrezy (mushroom, carrot, broccoli, zucchini, bell pepper, paneer cooked onion and sweet tomato sauce), brown rice, and Roti/Chapati (unleavened whole wheat bread grilled on tawa), which is basically the egg-free version of Naan bread. 

Other vegan options included:
  • Daal Tadka -  mix of yellow lentils slow cooked with aromatic blend of herbs and spice
  • Chana Masala -  overnight soaked garbanzo beans cooked in turmeric based sauce 
  • Aloo Cauli -  fresh cauliflower and russets potatoes simmered with tomatoes, cilantro, and spices

While waiting for my dinner, I was served papadums with cucumber salsa.




After a quick chat with my parents, my dinner was ready. The picture isn't the best. I was trying to be sly! :) It's always a bit awkward taking pictures of your food in restaurants because you never know if they don't want you taking pictures!




Everything was great. I will definitely be back soon to try the Aloo Cauli!

After dinner, I decided to stop by Whole Foods to pick up a few things. I love going in the evening when the store is quiet and I can check everything out!

I found this "Multi-Green" Kombucha. I was a bit skeptical, but this is surprisingly good and very healthy. I was even carded at the checkout due to the small trace of alcohol!

Ingredients: 100% G.T.'s organic raw kombucha, Klamath Valley blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, and 100% pure love!!!




I also found this raw superfood cereal in the bulk aisle. Yes, I know what you're all thinking, but this cereal is really good! I'll probably eat it as a snack or as a sweet, healthy topping for a variety of breakfast items.








Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

With my happy heart last night, I decided to get in the kitchen and bake! I made the Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies again and I topped some of them with shredded coconut. I also made a batch of Gluten-Free Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! :)

I added some to jars as gifts and took the rest to work for my coworkers to enjoy!



Ingredients:

1 flax egg: (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water)
1/4 cup non-dairy buttery spread
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup organic cane sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a flour (or 1 cup oat flour)
1 cup almonds, blended into a flour (or 1 cup + 2 tbsp almond flour)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


Directions from Oh She Glows:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the flax egg and set aside for 5 minutes so it can thicken up.

With an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the buttery spread and peanut butter until combined. Add both sugars and beat for 1 minute more. Beat in the flax egg and vanilla extract until combined.

Beat in the remaining dry ingredients (baking soda, baking powder, salt, oat flour, and almond flour) one by one. If your dough is dry (this could be the case if too much flour is used), you can add a touch of almond milk to thin it out. Fold in chocolate chips.

Shape 1-inch balls of dough (smaller than golf balls) and place on the baking sheet. If chocolate chips aren’t sticking to the dough, just press them in with your fingers. There is no need to flatten the balls as the cookies spread out a lot. Place balls 2-3 inches apart.

Bake for about 11-13 minutes (I baked for 12 mins) until lightly golden. The underside will also be a rich golden brown shade. The cookies will be very soft coming out of the oven, but they will harden as they cool. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins. on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle cookies with flaked sea salt to bring out the peanut butter flavor even more.




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Heart

My heart is happy. I'm surrounded by strong, positive, humorous, and inspiring people who make me a stronger, better person. I'm more compassionate and positive because of them and I appreciate their support in all aspects of my life. My support system not only keeps me happy, but also helps me strive to be better and keep me reaching for my many goals.

Yes, this is awfully sappy for me, but I appreciate all the women I work with, my family, and my few, but amazing friends. Thank you for making my life better.

I'm happy to see great things happen to great people. We will soon be welcoming a wonderful addition to the team at work. I'm excited and so happy for her! I think this calls for another potluck!! :D

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

We have another potluck at work tomorrow. Oh yes, you read that right! We like our potlucks! We're doing a salad bar like last week, but this time I'm bringing fruit salad, sunflower seeds, radishes, and chocolate chip cookies! Everyone will be eating cake and brownies, so I figured I should make something sweet so I can join in on the fun. :)

When it comes to desserts, I tend to need a recipe. Where did I look? Oh She Glows of course!

For all my gluten-free friends, I chose the Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Yes, the recipe calls for oil and Earth Balance and we all know I like to stay away from oil, but I was short on time and they're cookies after all!

So, here's how you make them:


Ingredients:

  • 7 tbsp (I used 5 tbsp) Earth Balance + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 flax egg: (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour (or process 1 cup certified gf rolled oats into flour)
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour (add an extra 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour if you want a thicker cookie) See note.
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Note: Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour was just over $10 for a small bag. I looked at the ingredients - just blanched almonds! So I bought blanched almonds and processed them into flour myself. I saved about $7.00.


Directions from Oh She Glows:

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the flax egg and set aside.

With an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the Earth Balance and oil until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Beat in the flax egg and vanilla extract.

Beat in the remaining ingredients and fold in the chocolate chips.

With wet fingers, shape balls of dough and place on the baking sheet. The dough will be very sticky but don’t worry! No need to flatten the balls down! Bake for about 10-11 minutes until slightly golden along edges. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins. on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes.


Make sure to space them out quite a bit because as you can see, mine ran into each other!




While my cookies were cooling, I made a fruit salad with grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, apples, and strawberries.




And since I have two bunches of radishes to get through, I cut these beautiful things for salads tomorrow.







On that note, I've had a busy evening going to the grocery store, baking, and cutting all the fruit, so it's time to get started on all my school work. It's going to be a LONG night!

Happy Tuesday!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Time to Educate!

Here are some videos I've recently watched:

What's Wrong With Our Food System?
Birke Baehr
TEDxTalks
 


101 Reasons to Go Vegan
James Wildman
ARFF



Ellen DeGeneres
The Ellen Show



And if you really want to educate yourself, try watching Earthlings. I wouldn't suggest watching it before bed like I just did. Earthlings is the documentary that made Ellen DeGeneres go vegan. The full version is available online: http://earthlings.com/?page_id=32

Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Burritos

I woke up this morning and cooked the black beans I had soaking overnight. While the beans were cooking, I juiced 1 apple, 2 carrots,  4 strawberries, 1 grapefruit, ginger, and fresh mint to start the day off right.

By the time brunch rolled around, I found myself making a quinoa, sweet potato, and black bean breakfast burrito. Another Tiffany original. :)

I sauteed the sweet potato with a bit of water in a pan, cooked the quinoa, and sauteed garlic and onion to add to the mix. For my burrito, I added 1/2 cup of the mix and 1/4 of an avocado.

I made a little extra so I can either take it for lunch as a quinoa salad or use some of it for breakfast tomorrow.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Redwood Cafe

I met up with a friend and her son at Redwood Cafe in Cotati for brunch today. They have several vegan options. I had the tempeh scramble with mushrooms, spinach, tomato, zucchini, onions, herbs, and spices. I thought it was pretty good. Sorry, no picture. I was having too much fun making faces at a little boy! :)

For dinner, I had a cup of lentil soup I picked up from Oliver's Market. I added a few leftover chickpeas, too. Well, I almost keeled over from all the salt! Geez. I had a feeling the soup would be salty, but I took the chance anyway. I'm so sensitive to salty foods now! I had chickpeas the other day that weren't the Eden's Organic No Salt Added beans I'm used to and wow, salty!! I need to stop eating out because it's expensive and not as healthy. I've just been too busy to think lately. I'll have to set aside some time tomorrow to make meals for the week! I'm already planning to make black beans from scratch in the morning.

Just two more weeks of class....... and then I can enjoy summer and blog as much as I want! :)

P.S. I was asked two days ago, "What food do you miss most on your new diet?" I answered, "nothing!" I honestly don't miss a thing. I love the food I eat and I don't feel in any way that I'm depriving myself of something I want. I actually have more variety and flavors now than I ever did before!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baan Thai Restaurant

I try to take every chance I can to educate and better myself, so I'm attending a "Communication Skills for Women" seminar today.

I didn't bring lunch with me, but I knew I'd have a few options close to the Wells Fargo Center in Santa Rosa. After a short drive, I found Baan Thai Restaurant. I quickly checked the reviews on Yelp.com and people seemed to really like it, so I went in. I ordered a tofu dish with vegetables, rice, and peanut sauce. It came with a small cup of coconut soup which was great! Everything I ordered was fresh, hot, and vegan! I definitely recommend Baan Thai!




Potlucks and Protein Bars

We had another potluck at work today and we have another one next Wednesday! It's a fun office! We decided to do a salad bar today. I had plenty of choices, but I was definitely craving something sweet afterward when I saw my coworkers eating brownies and cookies!




After a very long day, I got home around 10pm and decided to do some laundry and finally make something sweet! Angela Liddon just posted a Banana Bread Protein Bar recipe on Oh She Glows. I decided to go with that since I had all the ingredients on hand. After seeing how much peanut butter, brown rice syrup, nuts, and coconut went into this recipe, I cut the bars even smaller than Angela suggested and I'll either freeze most of the bars or take them to work! Either way, I thought they turned out great!






On that note, time for bed! I need to be up in five hours. I'm taking the day off work to go to a "Communication Skills for Women" seminar and then I have class at 5! Is it summer yet?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kamut Berry Salad

Lunch time!

Kamut berries with grape tomatoes, olives, radishes, chickpeas, cashews, sprouted beans, fresh mint, and fresh lemon juice. A Tiffany original. :)

 




Sunday, April 14, 2013

Grains!

I decided to freeze my leftover casserole and start with something new today. I made hot cereal using amaranth this morning. Amaranth is a seed and is often used for hot cereal, salads, or in place of quinoa or couscous.

To cook, bring 1/2 cup amaranth and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Amaranth can quickly dry and burn near the end of the cooking process, so keep an eye on it! The amaranth is ready to eat once all the liquid is absorbed.

This grain is similar to cream of wheat, but a bit more sticky. I liked the change. I added 2 tbsp organic applesauce, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp pecans, 3 chopped strawberries, and a little cinnamon.




For lunch... I finally tried a burger from The Sunflower Center. I liked it! Sorry, no picture. The burger patty is made with quinoa, carrots, beets, kale, parsley, basil, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and herbs. I ordered the Deluxe Burger, so the patty was topped with tomato, onion, lettuce, Sesame Dill Sauce, Vegan Pesto Sauce, avocado, and Cashew "Cheez" on Lydia's Gluten-Free Buckwheat Blinis. It sounds like a lot, but it isn't. Check out their website or Yelp.com for photos. My burger came with Kale Krunchies, but I will pass on those next time. I didn't expect them to have a bit of a kick.

For dinner... kamut berries! After having a blizzard last night and going out for lunch today, I kept it simple tonight. I made kamut berries for the first time and I love them! They remind me of the brown rice from Howard's Station Cafe in Occidental. If you haven't been there, you're missing out! Go for breakfast and take cash. Oh, and stop by Wild Flour Bread in Freestone while you're out that way! Take some fresh bread home for later.

Back to the kamut berries... bring 1 cup kamut berries and 3 1/2 cups water to a boil and then simmer for about an hour. Drain and serve. I served mine with steamed asparagus, tomatoes, and edamame.



Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard

Oh She Glows has been one of my favorite blogs to follow since I started eating vegan. Angela Liddon focuses on real, whole foods and makes amazing recipes! I always seem to have the ingredients she uses, too. I love it!

Well, it turns out my mom either knows of or has made most recipes from Oh She Glows! Geez, mom. You should start your own blog!

After talking with my mom earlier today about vegan desserts, all I wanted to do was make something sweet. I turned to Angela Liddon's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard. Oh my, this is good! The dough balls are made up of cashews, rolled oats, flour, salt (I used sea salt and they were great!), cane sugar, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. The blizzard is just frozen banana and 2 dough balls! The recipe is so easy and serves as a much healthier dessert than most.

Seriously, get in your kitchen and make this blizzard! And make sure to throw a couple more dough balls on top. :)


Friday, April 12, 2013

Gaia's Garden Again :)

I can't say enough good things about Gaia's Garden, a vegetarian/vegan buffet in Santa Rosa. Here I am, a single girl dining alone on a Friday night and I have to say I had a surprisingly great evening! It was a well-needed, relaxing night full of dinner, frozen yogurt, a long bath, and a movie.

I stopped by Gaia's Garden at 6:30 tonight and the owner greeted me with a warm welcome. We chatted for a moment while I paid. I decided to go with a small salad with almond blend dressing again. :) For my main entree, I had a little curry with brown rice, steamed vegetables, and the best polenta and pesto sauce I've ever had! I mean, really. The polenta was creamy and the pesto sauce was absolutely amazing.

I headed to Yogurt Farms after dinner and tried the Almond Pistachio frozen yogurt (soy) with carob chips. I was in heaven again! I can't say I monitored my portions as well as I should have tonight... but I had a great evening.

Now I'm relaxing and taking it easy before a long weekend of writing papers! I will hopefully post a few recipes, too. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oil

I've had a few people ask me about yesterday's post and why it's a good idea to avoid oil. I say "avoid" rather than "eliminate" because I will probably use a limited amount on occasion. I'm just making a healthy, conscious effort to avoid using oil when I don't need to. To each their own.

When I first started eating vegan, I used olive oil for many recipes. After listening to Rip Esselstyn talk about the Engine 2 Diet and healthy eating (I posted his Ted Talk on March 7th), as well as reading several articles and blogs, I've learned that it's far better to cook with water or vegetable broth. We often don't need oil, but we use it anyway. Olive oil is liquid fat and provides little to no nutrients for our bodies. We already absorb natural fats from seeds, nuts, avocados, and other sources.

Helpful tip from my coworker: Make your own vegetable broth and freeze a variety of portion sizes for easy use.

Here are a couple articles worth reading in addition to the two I posted yesterday:

No Added Oils Healthiest for Vegans and Omnivores Alike
The Truth About Olive Oil

Here is Rip Esselstyn's TED Talk again if you're interested. It gets better after the first few minutes. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Perfect Timing

Talk about perfect timing. Happy Herbivore just posted: Not Losing Weight on a Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet? Here's Why.

I'm well aware of the oil, so I rarely use it now. I learned to skip the oil after my first week or two on a vegan diet. I also stay away from vegan substitutes, salt, alcohol, processed foods, and sugary drinks. I try to stick to water and coffee only. I also make sure to buy 100% whole grains. I've controlled any mindless eating, so that is definitely not a problem. I don't buy anything to allow for mindless eating anyway! I sometimes have tofu, but maybe I should cut down on the portion when I do have it. I'd say my downfall has been eating nuts, seeds, and whole avocados on a regular basis. I should start re-evaluating my portion sizes. I just didn't want to be hungry when I started this journey, but that's not a problem for me now. I should also work in some exercise...! Happy Herbivore's post makes complete sense to me and I read it at just the perfect time. I know what I'm doing now, but it's time to re-focus a bit.

I also loved reading Engine 2 Diet's Stuck in a Rut. Check it out!

Nevertheless, I'm making progress. I've lost about 7 lbs and I'm focusing on long-term health benefits. Food is fuel and it's important to choose the most beneficial and healthy ingredients!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Dance

If only you could all see my ever so quick happy dance every time I lose another pound. Me? Dance? Although the process of losing weight is crazy slow (which is actually a good thing!), it still makes me VERY happy! :)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Three Bean Chili

Chili always reminds me of my mom. She taught me how to make chili about 5 years ago. I have her recipe somewhere around here on a piece of paper. Tonight I made an adaptation of the chili we made together.




Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 small chopped carrots
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Although there are quite a few ingredients, this chili is actually really easy to throw together.

I didn't have kidney beans on hand, so I used pinto instead tonight. Anything you have will work! Also, if you don't have time to cook dried beans, I highly recommend (and only buy) Eden Organic canned beans. Stock up at Target ($1.79 each) or other cheaper places because grocery stores will charge you twice as much ($3.50+) for a can of beans!

Directions:

Rinse and cook the quinoa.

In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, and chopped carrots until tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, corn, and cooked quinoa. Stir in the spices and cover. Let simmer on low for approximately 45 minutes. Take your time because the flavors will only get better! :)



Thanks, mom!


Oh, and I grilled plantains earlier today as a snack. Not too bad! :)




P.S. Check out my new Recipe Index page!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

In honor of my coworker's last day before retirement, the office is throwing a surprise breakfast potluck during our meeting this morning. So far my coworkers are planning to bring in egg dishes, fruit, bagels, cake, and juice. I've been thinking about what to bring for a couple weeks now. Since Jodi, the short-timer, mentioned something about the banana chocolate pancakes I made over the weekend, I decided to make a chocolate chip banana bread. I hope everyone likes it. The bread isn't as sweet as traditional banana bread, but I like it! I will also take with me oatmeal with fun toppings like pecans, walnuts, chia seeds, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon, and sliced medjool dates.




Banana Bread Ingredients:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup organic pure maple sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the melted Earth Balance. Mix in the applesauce, vanilla extract, sugar, chocolate chips, and salt. Add the flour and baking soda and stir just until the ingredients are combined.

Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for another 30 minutes or so, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes in pan and transfer to a plate or wire rack.

Adapted from: Cheap and Simple Vegan

It is now 1:06am and I'm off to bed!! I'll schedule this post for 8am when our meeting starts. I can't spoil the surprise! :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chow Mein

I found organic, ready-to-eat plain chow mein noodles in the refrigerated section of the grocery store tonight. I decided to make a nice hot meal rather than a salad for dinner. I sauteed garlic, ginger, onions, tofu, and zucchini in a splash of sesame oil. Once my vegetables and tofu were cooked, I added the chow mein noodles to the mix and sauteed until hot. To finish off the dish, I added bean sprouts and a mix of soy sauce and hoisin sauce.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Q & A

Now that I've been eating vegan for over 6 weeks, I figured it was about time I talk about my experience thus far. Most people don't go vegan overnight. Rather they slowly transition to make it easier on their body. I, on the other hand, just had enough and I suddenly threw myself into the world of vegan! I assumed my body wouldn't experience any change since my diet was so heavily reliant on fruits and vegetables anyway. Well, I can honestly tell you there was a little discomfort at the beginning and I had headaches on the second or third week, but I feel great now!

So why did I go vegan overnight? Well, I had been watching more and more documentaries, videos, and reading anything I could get my hands on. The more knowledge, the better! I should also admit I ate far too many cookies in the office on Valentine's Day! I felt sick and guilty for consuming something so useless and artificial. The cookies did nothing for me except make me crave sugar for the rest of the day! All I kept thinking was something Mike Adams said in the documentary Hungry for Change. Mike challenged viewers to ask themselves these questions:

1. Where does my food come from?
2. What went into the food in terms of attitude, care, love and compassion?
3. What is my intention of doing with the food?
4. Is the food to support me for a good purpose to do something productive or is it just entertainment?

While on my lunch break today, I started thinking about the questions my friends have asked me recently. Here are some of the questions and my answers:

Q: Why vegan?
A: Well, I challenge you to go educate yourself! Start with the documentaries and then start plugging in questions or topics online! A whole foods, plant-based vegan diet focuses on healthy, natural, clean, and real food! I eat organic fruits and vegetables because they taste and smell as they should and are free of pesticides. I don't eat animal products because I don't want what I consider contaminated (hormones, drugs, disease, fillers, additives, etc) meat, dairy, and eggs in my body. I want to live a long, healthy life. I also care deeply about the treatment of the animals. I've watched many videos on farms, slaughterhouses, animal practices, and SO much more!

Q: I want to eat healthier, but I don't have the time! How do you do it?
A: This is your health we're talking about. If this is something you want, then yes, you have the time! You may stumble around at first while you get the hang of things, but it gets so much easier after the first couple weeks! If I have time in between working full-time, going to school, pet-sitting, blogging, and more, then you have time! :) Here are some handy tips:
  • Make tomorrow's lunch while you're making dinner
  • Make extra to last 2 to 3 days for lunches and dinners or freeze individual portions
  • Create routines - I always eat swiss muesli or overnight oats for breakfast during the week and then cook breakfast on the weekends 
  • Cut and prep your veggies ahead of time
  • Sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box. Farm Fresh To You delivers to your doorstep. I always know what I'm getting and it saves me a trip to the store!
  • Search for vegan recipes online and bookmark all your favorites
  • Make sure you have the right kitchen tools to make cooking, chopping, and mixing easier
  • Keep things handy! I have dried beans, nuts, and seeds in jars on my counter. I have more jars in my cupboards with flour, chocolate chips, oats, grains, etc. Make your life easier!



Q: But it's too expensive! Right?
A: Actually, not really! Many people would argue that buying meat is far more expensive (and far worse for the environment if I might add!). To keep costs low, I buy only what I need for each week. My CSA box keeps the costs low on organic vegetables and fruit at $25.00 per week. I also have all my seeds, nuts, beans, flour, pasta, quinoa, rice, frozen peas, frozen edamame, spices, etc already on hand. Buying from the bulk section of my local natural foods store keeps costs down. Now when I stop by the grocery store, I'm usually buying almond milk, yogurt, tofu, and just a few other items like bananas, berries, and swiss muesli. Honestly, the price is right!

Q: How do you live without X, Y, and Z?
A: Trust me, you won't even realize things like cheese and eggs are not part of your diet anymore! Your preferences and taste buds will change and you will start craving other foods. You will appreciate more and more all the different flavors and textures of fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.

Q: Aren't you hungry? What can you eat?
A: The question should be what can't I eat? I have an endless list of recipes I still want to make! I'm always playing around with ingredients and making new things. If I can't think of what to make, I start looking up recipes.

Q: What do you order when you go out?
A: That's easy! Check HappyCow.net for a list of local vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. Call or email restaurants ahead of time to ask about their vegan options. Check out the menu online. If you're already at the restaurant, just ask questions. If you're worried you'll annoy the server with all your questions, just say you have food allergies. People are more willing and happy to help if you say you have allergies than if you say you're on some kind of diet. If all else fails, bring snacks (I had so many snacks with me in the beginning!), order sides, steamed veggies without butter, or a basic dinner salad.

Q: You're doing this for life?
A: Yep! I have every intention of eating vegan for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Worth Checking Out

I have quite a bit of lettuce to get through from my CSA box this week. Tonight I made a small salad with garbanzo beans, carrots, cucumber, fresh pickles, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and sunflower seeds. I also steamed a handful of asparagus and green beans. Talk about extra healthy tonight!

I was just on Facebook and one of my friends shared a recipe he made from Raw on $10 a Day (or Less). The recipes look so good!! Deviled Avocados, Carrot Pear Soup, Grapefruit Pear Salad, Stuffed Truffles, and more! I will definitely follow the posts on this blog.

Here are some of the other blogs I've been following:

Oh She Glows
Happy Herbivore
Choosing Raw
Vegan Yack Attack
Healthy. Happy. Life.
The Veggie Nook
Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Keep the recommendations coming!