Vegan MoFo Post 22: The Calm Before the Storm

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well! I’ve had a crazy couple of days here. Yesterday I worked 10-6 and then was treated to an amazing dinner over at my neighbor’s house. Our families are very good friends and they invited everyone over for an amazing dinner. My neighbor is an incredibly talented cake decorator, baker and cook. She chose to create an amazing mediterranean meal and was so thoughtful to make a nice variety of vegan dishes for me to choose from! I didn’t get a photo of it but I enjoyed some roasted veggies, hummus and an amazing salad with wheatberry, arugula, toasted almonds and chickpeas. It was phenomenal! I was really exhausted by the time I got home though and definitely enjoyed a good night’s sleep and a slow morning.

The warnings for psycho bitch storm Sandy have been impossible to escape so I have spent some time getting ready for it. I have plenty of water, lots of food (and thankfully a gas stove so I can cook stovetop even with no power!), flashlights, batteries, and a battery operated radio. I charged up my rechargeable batteries as well as my video light as an extra flashlight. Full tank of gas in the car as well as a car charger which will help if I need to charge my phone. I think I’m ready for her, although I’m hoping that this is all just a bunch of hype and Sandy turns out to be as much of a tease as Irene. I’m also hoping it holds off until later on Monday so I can just get to my Dr. appointment tomorrow morning.

A quick funny story before I show you some food though haha. I ran to the grocery store this morning to grab some extra filters for my Brita pitcher (can’t hurt right?) and rather than get annoyed by the madness I decided to laugh at the stupidity. I saw a family of four walk out with only a four pack of toilet paper (if you’re going to make the trip at least stock up more than that!) and a woman checking out with 10-15 Lean Cuisine meals. Not only are they stupid and gross, I bet she’s going to be pretty pissed when her power goes out and has no freezer to keep them frozen and no microwave to heat them. Poor planning lady haha.

So here’s what I’ve had going on so far today.

Since I was out and about getting last minute things for our impending doom, I figured I’d treat myself to a Grande Decaf Soy Latte from Starbucks for breakfast. These things are really filling and it was yummy and I figured since I don’t drink a lot of booze and encouraged you guys to do so, I’d at least treat myself to a coffee :) It’s been a while!

So am I the only weirdo that thought it would be a good idea to bake today in the middle of the craziness? Probably. I had that bag of fresh cranberries begging to be used and a few oranges and decided that it was FINALLY time to try Isa’s Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins from Vegan Brunch. I’ve had it bookmarked since I got the book but never tried it. The stars aligned (for something more than a Frankenstorm) and I had all of the ingredients to bake a batch.

These muffins are INCREDIBLE!! Seriously, they are just as delicious as they are beautiful. I made a few changes to the recipe as I tend to do when I bake. I made them gluten free by using oat flour and used walnuts instead of pecans. Definitely use Isa’s tip to chop the cranberries in the food processor, it’ll make life that much easier. They were a bit crumbly coming out of the pan but otherwise they are perfect. Oh, and the house smells AMAZING! These are perfect for the holidays too, so festive with the cranberries. A perfect warming, comforting treat.

Since I hadn’t actually eaten anything yet and it was approaching 1pm I decided that I’d make myself a proper Sunday Brunch. I whipped up a quick tofu scramble, seared of a serving of Yve’s faux sausage (they were ok, not as good as Gimme Lean though) and one of my fresh baked muffins. It has crumbled a bit when I took it out of the pan and figured it was the perfect excuse to try it.

The top separated from the stump (is that what we call it?) so I wanted to show you how gorgeous it is! It was so moist and amazing and still warm. This was seriously a perfect meal. I’m stuffed and happy and feeling a bit lazy and tired so I’m about to rest before I do a final sweep to make sure I’m ready.

What have you been doing to get ready for this Frankenbitch storm?

For all of my fellow East Coasters please be safe!! And also my friends in British Columbia and the Northwest Coast please be safe as well following those earthquakes. Mother nature is PMSing big time.

I don’t know what the power situation will be but I will definitely see you on the other side of this! Be safe! <3

Vegan MoFo Post 21: Fun Friday – Hurricane Edition

Hey guys. Sorry for the lack of food posts lately, I’ve been feeling pretty sub par. I’m just exhausted all the time, it’s really hard even just to make it through a day of work. The thought of doing any extensive cooking or baking is pretty daunting right now when I feel so crappy. The good news is that I found a Dr. that had an appointment available on Monday so maybe we can finally get the ball rolling on this. The funny thing is that I arbitrarily picked this Dr. from a list of local specialists covered under my insurance and she was the same Dr. that my primary care physician was going to recommend (her second recommendation). It’s always iffy choosing a Dr. from a list but it makes me feel better than she was going to refer her to me anyway.

So I guess we are supposed to get a pretty gnarly hurricane or “frankenstorm” as they are calling it. So for today’s Fun Friday post I figured I’d do a Hurricane edition and show you all the fun things you can do if you lose power and are bored ;) It’s all about making lemonade out of lemons my friends. Which is something you can do if you lose power. ;)

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Well, the first thing you can do is drink ;) Haha! I’m not a big drinker and I’m certainly not in any condition to be drinking right about now but if you are so inclined, a hurricane/frankenstorm blackout would be the perfect occasion to partake. And what better cocktail than a classic New Orleans Hurricane. Be careful though, these things pack a punch in a tasty little package. Don’t drink more than one. Trust me. I’ll probably partake in some tea instead. If this storm even happens. Who knows.

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For those of you who know how to knit, you can make something super cute to keep you warm for the winter! I don’t know how to knit (I’m 0 for 2 on this list, hmmm) but I am OBSESSED with these gloves. I’m trying to bribe someone to knit them for me but no go so far. So sad haha! I’m not even really a big fan of the color blue but that color is gorgeous.

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I’ve posted these before but I love them so much and it would be a great DIY project while you are braving the storm. You can etch recycled glass bottles, mason jars, etc. I love love love the look of them.

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Get started on your holiday gifts! Obviously I’d save the perishable ones for the closer weeks but you can start crafting for sure. I’m going to try and get away with a lot of homemade gifts this year since funds are tight and this is a great resource for homemade gift ideas!

Those are some of my ideas for keeping busy while staying safe during this hurricane. If the lights go out you can always read or cook stovetop (gas burners only obviously) or play games and whatnot, but getting crafty (and drunk I guess from my first suggestion) would be fun as well :) Spend time with your loved ones, chat, save your phone batteries. Stay hydrated and well  nourished. And of course stay safe :)

Just a bonus photo :) This tree had the most gorgeous red leaves so I had to grab a shot of it! It is in front of my friend’s house. How lucky is she to get to look at this every day!?

I’ll be back before the hurricane hits I’m sure. I hope you all have a great Friday night! One more day of work. I can’t wait to have some time to rest!

Vegan MoFo Post 20: Grocery Haul

Hey friends :) Thanks again for all of your kind words and support, it means a lot to me. You are all awesome and I’m so lucky to have “met” all of you!

Today’s post is just a grocery haul. I dragged my ass out of bed this morning to grab some stuff from Whole Foods (including some fruit, woo!). Check out the haul!

The produce haul includes carrots, avocados, tomatoes, baby spinach, bosc pears, cranberries, honeycrisp apples and out of total curiosity some starfruit!

I know you guys were concerned because you haven’t seen stuffed grape leaves in a while but here they are! ;) Three packets of Vanilla Almondilla Vega Smoothie powder, Peanut Ginger Chews, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Artisana Coconut Butter, Daiya Mozzarella and Raw Chai Spice Macaroons. Yum!

So there you have it! Can’t wait to start showing you some meals again :) I’m going to head back to bed now to rest for a bit before I get ready for work. I hope you have a great day!

Vegan MoFo Post 19: Recipe Testing and Some Updates

Hey everyone! It’s only Tuesday and I feel like it’s been a long week already! As you know, I had my appointment with the GI dr. yesterday and as I suspected all along, I have no GI problems. When I got my blood test results I did some research and had a feeling in my gut of what it could be, and it had nothing to do with GI problems. The Dr. did make a suggestion as to what it could be and unfortunately it is exactly what I thought it could be. I’m not happy about it because it’s not something you want to have but I’ll only know after more testing. I’m not going to get into specifics now because there’s no guarantee that it’s actually the problem so until I know more I’ll just leave it at that :) So I still have no answers and have added some aggravation because the specialist I need to see isn’t taking new patients until January. I don’t want to wait until January so I have to do some research and try and find someone that is accepting new patients. Awesome.

After my appointment I went to get my car inspected and it took a while but luckily everything was fine. I finally got home and decided to test a recipe. Baking always calms me down so I was glad to get into the kitchen after a stressful morning. Check out what came out of my oven :)

Check out these beauties. I based this treat on Chocolate Covered Katie’s Chocolate Chip Blondie recipe which utilizes, you guessed it, chickpeas!

I changed the flavor though to be a little more festive for the fall. This version is a Pumpkin Pecan Blondie!

They look really great and taste ok, but I’m not ready to post the recipe yet because I’m not 100% happy with them. I was trying to make them ACD friendly but I’ve never baked with Stevia before and didn’t like how completely un-sweet they are. I’ve decided I’m not doing any more diets or cleanses of any kind until after I get all of my testing done. I don’t want to interfere with any results or anything so I think that I’m going to wait to see what’s wrong before I change my diet again. So because I’m not concerned about ACD (for now) I’m going to try to make these again using different (natural) sweeteners.

They definitely still look pretty and taste ok so this batch shouldn’t go to waste :) I just don’t want to give you a recipe that I’m not completely happy with. But I thought I’d show you what I worked on yesterday.

So that’s all for now. I’m going to go back to eating fruit and doing what I’ve been doing so I don’t interfere with testing and whatnot. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a Dr. that can take me in quicker. And most importantly, hopefully the next batch of the pretty Pumpkin Pecan Blondies will come out perfectly and I can share the recipe with you ;)

Have a great night my friends!

Vegan MoFo Post 18: One Lucky Duck’s S&M Salad

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn’t post this weekend, it ended up being a lot busier than I expected. After I got out of the studio at 6pm on Saturday I went straight to meet my family to go out for my parents’ anniversary dinner. Well we spent over 2 hours in the car sitting in traffic trying to get into the city. We never got into the city, ha. We ended up going to a restaurant 5 blocks from my brother’s house. It was an adventure and I got home late, hence no post. And then yesterday I had a wedding and was exhausted when I got home. So here I am, with another back in the day recreation for you.

I was totally obsessed with getting to One Lucky Duck in Chelsea Market for a really long time. Finally, last Mother’s Day, I got my chance to try it :) I did purchase a few items and they were delicious but I had actually tried One Lucky Duck food before I had ever even visited there. And that was courtesy of a recreation I made in my haste to try anything I could from there.

This is my version of the S&M Salad from the One Lucky Duck menu. It’s described as “greens, avocado, hemp seeds, dulse, rosemary crackers, pumpkin seed lemon dressing” and is apparently only available at the Gramercy location now? Anyway, it sounded like a great combination and wouldn’t you know it absolutely was! I didn’t make rosemary crackers even though I should have because I love rosemary. I also just dressed it simply with lemon juice and olive oil. Otherwise, I just threw together all of the rest of the ingredients and enjoyed a lovely green, super fresh salad :)

So there you have it, another recreation :) I’m hoping to get a few more recreations up to finish out MoFo and I’m really hoping to test a new recipe for you today. We shall see what happens and how long it takes at the Dr. Which I need to get ready for now so I’m going to get going now!

I hope you all have a great day!

Vegan MoFo Post 17: Fun Friday Veganversary Edition!

Hey my friends! Thank you all so much for your kind words and support :) It means a lot to me!

So like a dumbass I kind of totally missed my veganversary this week. Oops! It is my third veganversary yay! Since I missed the day I figured I’d use it as the theme of my Fun Friday post this week and show you all some of the majorly awesome things I’d buy myself if I had money ;)

First, like most vegans out there, I am dying for a Vitamix. I’m always so impressed by its versatility and power and I really wish that I had the extra cash and space needed for me to get one. One day!

I would also LOVE to get my hands on a Jack Lalanne Juicer. I’ve been really interested in juicing lately but right now I just don’t have the funds for a juicer. Maybe by next summer I’ll have one ;)

As you all know by now, I have a gorgeous bowl from Vegan Dish already but I’m totally obsessed with this adorable cereal bowl set! She is so super talented and these bowls are so cute, I’d love to have a full set of them. Definitely pop into her shop and check out all of her cute designs!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Healthy Surprise Snack boxes! I would love to get one! I love that they send out a whole box of healthy snacks to last one month. I’ve seen Bianca post about the boxes she’s received and they look so fun! I love the idea of not knowing what you are getting. That’s what makes the Vegan Care Package Swaps so fun too ;)

So those are just a few ways I’d like to celebrate my veganversary. The reality of it is that I’ll probably just attempt to indulge in something I don’t really eat much to treat myself :) Maybe there are some tater tots in my future? ;)

I’m also submitting a fun recipe from the summer for Healthy Vegan Friday this week! I decided to submit my Raw Cherry Berry Crisp recipe from my Dinner Party that I threw for my friends. It’s fresh and sweet but not heavy. A perfect treat :)

So that’s all for today! A little peek into my wish list that I have going. One day I’ll have the kitchen of my dreams and it will include a Vitamix and a Juicer and probably a better dehydrator too ;)

I hope you’ve all had a great week! Enjoy your Friday night :)

 

Vegan MoFo Post 16: Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Hello my friends. I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday. Truth be told, I’ve been SICK. Yesterday I got so sick at work I had to leave early. I’ll spare you the gross details but It hit my very quickly (a coworker told me all of the color drained from my face in the matter of one minute) and I had the worst stomach pain I’ve ever had. I’ve also had a hard time keeping food down so I’m basically at the point where I’m more concerned about eating foods that I can keep down rather than if I’m eating fruit or sugar or whatever. I just need to keep myself going until my appointment on Monday.

Since my meals have been sparse and boring I figured I’d show off a recreation that I’ve made a million times before. It is easy to make at home and it fits in with my theme quite nicely :)

Here is an actual¬†Chipotle Burrito Bowl :) I feel like there is no way to make a burrito bowl look pretty but here it is. These things are damn good minus the tons of cilantro they put in there. If my tummy wasn’t angry I’d totally want to eat one right now.

It’s so funny because here is a dish I made before I ever even went to Chipotle! I guess it can be considered my first burrito bowl! I made it using rice and beans, spinach, broccoli, salsa and avocado. A little bit of a departure but check out all of that greenery.

This is one of my more recent recreation attempts :) I used quinoa and beans instead of rice and beans which was great! I added some salsa and avocado to it. In retrospect I wish I would have used some lettuce for crunch.

This last one is rice and beans with some salsa, Daiya, mashed avocado and a tortilla for scooping.

I guess the moral of the story here is that dishes like the Chipotle burrito bowl are super customizable! I love being able to make restaurant dishes at home because I can make it to my taste… in this case that means no cilantro! For my next one I will also try to make some home made pico de gallo and definitely use some shredded lettuce on top.

A bit off topic, you may remember that I participated in the 4th Annual RWT Vegan Care Package Swap for the second time this year and was paired with Brigid! You can check out what she sent here and if you are interested, she posted the package that I sent to her here :)

So I guess that’s it for today’s post. Sorry it’s nothing new but I don’t know how much new stuff you’ll get out of me. Today I feel a lot better but am still very cautious of what I eat and am really just trying to eat easily digestible foods that are easy on the tummy.

I hope that you are all well! For all of you lucky people with normal work schedules hooray for Friday tomorrow! I have to work Saturday in the studio as always and I have a wedding on Sunday so I still have a few days left. I’ll be living vicariously through all of you :)

Have a great night friends!

Vegan MoFo Post 15: Pizza Anyone?

So, I’m just going to get right to it, this diet sucks, ha! No seriously, it really sucks. This is by far the hardest plan I’ve ever stuck to. I think the biggest problem is that I basically cut out all sugars, natural and otherwise, cold turkey overnight. Hopefully the GI dr. will have some info for me when I go for my first appointment next Monday. Probably not since it is just a consultation but I can always hope ;)

Anyway, even though I’m missing my fruit and my smoothies and whatnot, I have had some pretty good meals. I even had pizza! How on earth did I manage to eat pizza on such a restrictive diet? Well I’ll tell ya :)

Not too shabby! It’s pretty sparse in toppings because I was testing out the crust and didn’t want to overload it with toppings. And what is that crust made out of? That’s cauliflower my friends! I finally tried Caralyn’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust after months of thinking about it. And let me tell you, it is great!! This crust has amazing flavor! I added a ton of garlic to mine because I love my cauliflower garlicky and the cauliflower flavor definitely came through which I love! I had a hard time getting my crust to hold together which is why it is still on the parchment paper but it was still amazing! I’ll have to play around with the recipe to figure out how to keep the crust together. I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crusts with cheese in it but I had a feeling that Daiya isn’t part of the ACD, ha.

Pretty right?! I topped mine with thin slices of zucchini and some fresh tomato. I also sliced up a clove of garlic and put it on there too. I topped it off with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper. Such a great combo. I definitely want to try this again post ACD with sauce and cheese and to try and get that crust to stick together :)

Hope you’ve all had a great day! I’m pretty excited about relaxing tonight, been feeling pretty tired lately. Does anyone watch The Voice? I’ve watched every season, I love it! Definitely ready to settle in under the covers, read some blogs and watch The Voice at 8 :)

Have a good night!

Vegan MoFo Post 14: Carrot Cake Oats

Hey everyone. So this whole ACD thing is already proving to be a huge challenge for me. I’m so used to eating fruit in the morning and I’ve been completely thrown off by not being able to eat it. I do enjoy a tofu scramble for breakfast but those have to be limited a bit on this diet so I’ve been trying to find other savory breakfasts that are ACD approved. It’s also pretty lucky for me that stevia is allowed on the ACD so I’ll be able to use it on occasion to satisfy that sweet tooth that is being severely ignored. And that’s where today’s breakfast came in.

As you may remember, I typically enjoy my oats with banana, raisins, and walnuts but since bananas and raisins are off limits I decided to switch things up. This was my attempt to eat an ACD friendly breakfast with a little bit of sweetness and it worked out pretty well! It was slightly sweetened with stevia and brings together carrots, walnuts and spices to create a bowl of oats reminiscent of a sweet, comforting slice of carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup gluten free steel cut oats

1 cup filtered water

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 small carrot, grated

stevia to taste

Directions:

1. Combine water and oats in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer.

2. When water is mostly absorbed, add spices, walnuts, carrot and stevia to the pan. Cook until water is absorbed. Enjoy!

Looks like confetti in the oatmeal! It’s so pretty and pretty yummy too. I’m still missing my fruit but this was definitely a step in the right direction.

So, this has been pretty difficult so far. There are so many rules and restrictions so I’ve been struggling a bit but I’m going to hang in there. My goal is to do this for one month and see how I feel.

I hope you have all had a great day! I did a lot of cooking today and will be heading to my training session later on this evening. Always look forward to that ;)

Have a great day!

Vegan MoFo Post 13: Anti Candida Grocery Haul

Hello friends! Sorry I couldn’t post yesterday, I had a day wedding and was completely exhausted and sick when I got home. I pretty much got into bed and didn’t get up for the rest of the night. I fell asleep super early which was great because I woke up with more energy and have accomplished so much already! And it’s only the middle of the day :)

The first thing I did this morning was go to Whole Foods to fill in a few things to start off this cleanse. I’ve printed some recipes from Ricki’s amazing site Diet, Dessert and Dogs and also have some recipes from the book I’ve been reading. You can get a great explanation of the Anti Candida Diet (I’ll refer to it as ACD from now on) on Ricki’s site but in very simplistic words, you are basically using your diet and supplements to kill off the yeast overgrowth in your body. To do so you have to starve the yeast of it’s main food source which is sugar. So for now, for at least one month, perhaps more, I’ll be eating a diet completely free of all sugars, processed and natural. This means no dates, no fruit, no syrups of any kind, etc. In addition, you have to avoid all fungii like mushrooms, fermented products like vinegars and pickles and other difficult to digest items. Obviously no coffee, no chocolate, no green or black tea. I’ve read some sources that say that you have to get rid of all grains, beans, tofu, etc. but the book I’ve been reading includes plenty of grains, and beans and even tofu in the diet. Of course the tofu is limited and everything needs to be cooked thoroughly to kill off bacteria and make it easier to digest but I like that it doesn’t limit me as much as if I would follow the plan outlined by other sources. It even allows for sweet potatoes and winter squash which was surprising but awesome!

Sure, the diet I’ve chosen to follow isn’t as strict as others I’ve read but I also feel it wouldn’t be healthy to exist on a vegetable only diet. I think I’d get sicker so even if the progress may be a little slower than if I were to cut out all of the squash and sweet potato and tofu I’m ok with that. In addition, I’m planning on supplementing with all natural anti-fungals such as raw garlic, spirulina supplements, psyllium husk and probiotics. I bought some herbal teas as well. So I feel like I’m definitely ready to take this on and hopefully I’ll feel better sooner rather than later :)

So, onto the grocery haul!

Spaghetti squash. avocados, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower, zucchini and green onions.

Organic spearmint herbal tea (spearmint is my absolute favorite tea so I was so happy to find an herbal tea version!), Psyllium Husk, and chickpea flour.

Lots of garlic. To be eaten raw. The planned method as suggested by Gabby (in addition to using in dishes obviously) is to chop a clove real well, place it on the back of my tongue and swallow with water. It is supposed to be a very potent anti fungal so hopefully I’ll be able to stand it, ha! And hopefully I’ll avoid yucky breath.

So that’s what I have today. I’ll be back tomorrow with meals! Hooray for Mondays off! I plan on cooking, some more cleaning and I have my training session in the evening :)

Have a great Sunday! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend!