Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This was always my favorite holiday growing up. We never had a lot of money and for some reason my mom only bought corned beef brisket once a year. It was my favorite of all meats. I am still not sure why I loved it so much, but my obsession got so bad that I used to order it whenever I was somewhere that offered it on the menu.  It became a compulsion to try the corned beef no matter where I was. My best friend used to pick on me because it didn’t matter if it came in a sandwich, a hash or as a main course I would order it wherever we went.

Last year for St. Patrick’s Day I had my first stumble. I was about six months into being Vegan and so far I had done really well and not cheated at all. I went to Brunch with a friend from college at Biscotti’s in Avondale. I took one look at the Brunch menu and my heart sunk. There it was corned beef hash with eggs and toast. My go to menu item. I frantically started searching the menu for something else to order, the only problem was that once I saw the hash I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I did see fresh fruit on the menu, but not another item that would be vegan. Thinking I had made it six months and deserved a treat I made the decision to order the hash. To this day I am not sure if it was the eggs or the corned beef, but I got sick! Needless to say I was not ready to cheat again for quite a while.
Arriving at church today and seeing a sea of green I realized that my favorite holiday had snuck up on me this year. I of course was NOT wearing green but worst of all I didn’t have a meal planned for dinner. After returning home from church I started looking online for recipe ideas. I came across a recipe for vegan corned beef on The Peaceful Kitchen and had most of the ingredients, so I decided to modify it a bit and give it a try. The flavor was really good, but it didn’t hold together quite as nice as I would like, so I stirred some into my cooked cabbage instead of eating it on the side. I had potatoes earlier, so I didn’t see the need to have them again, but did cook some green beans to go along with my cabbage and vegan corned beef. I am excited that there is enough left over “corned beef” to make hash in the morning. I should have time too since I start my new job tomorrow, but not until 9:30 am. Here is what you need for the corned beef:

1 15 ounce can Kidney Beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
½ cup walnuts
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tablespoons of coconut flour (I put coconut into my wheat grinder, not a great idea, it got a little sticky)
1 teaspoon ground caraway seed (I threw this into the wheat grinder to try to force out the coconut, it worked but not well)
1 teaspoon of Spike brand seasoning
½ teaspoon of mustard powder

½ Tablespoon of Onion Powder

¼ teaspoon of ground cloves

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ Tablespoon molasses

1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s liquid amino acids

2 Tablespoons olive oil

In a food processor pulse the walnuts until broken down. Add in the rest of the ingredients and run until well combined. Form mixture into a load and place on a well-oiled cookie sheet, oil the sides and top of the loaf and bake for 40 minutes in a 350° oven. Take out and slice thinly and bake another 10 minutes. Mine kind of crumbled, so I am not sure if I needed more liquid. If you want you could add up to a half a cup of vegetable broth for a moister loaf.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I was out having dinner with friends tonight and the topic of veganism came up, not surprising. We were talking about making cheese and then i saw a post on twitter about Rejuvelac. I decided that it was as good a time to post this recipe as any, since it is a starter ingredient for making your own cheese.
To make your own Rejuvelac all you need is 1 cup of whole grains, a glass jar and filtered water. I used 1/3 cup brown rice, 1/3 cup rye berries and 1/3 cup of wheat berries. Put grains in a jar and cover with water, put a paper towel over the mouth of the jar and tie off with a rubber band. Let soak 8-12 hours before draining. Add a small amount of water and keep in a warm place out of sunlight until tails form (about 2-3 days) rinsing the grains twice a day.

Divide sprouts into two jars and cover with 3 cups of filtered water in each jar. Cover with paper towels and rubber bands and leave in a warm place out of sunlight for another 2-3 days. It will look kind of cloudy and white and smell tart like lemon juice when done. Strain liquid into clean glass jars and store up to 4 weeks in the fridge.

I'll be posting a cheese recipe in a few days. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let them eat spinach

Soup that is! The weather turned cool again today, which surprised me since it is the middle of March in Florida. Typically this time of year the weather is warm to downright hot! Since that is not the case, I thought I would take what may be my last chance to eat soup while the weather is still cool. Soup always reminds me of my childhood, where we only had soup whenever the weather was cool, and never in the summer. My mother used to say that she didn’t want to eat something hot while the weather is warm. Maybe it was growing up in the South, where when the weather is hot it is scorching, but more likely it was the fact that we didn’t have central heat and air. This soup is quick, easy but most important delicious. Here is what you need:

1 can of Great Northern Beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups of Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
8 oz Spinach
Start with a large soup pot and add in the oil, garlic and onion. Cook about 5 minutes before adding in the potatoes. Continue cooking until potatoes are soft but not mushy add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Change is a good thing!

As most of you know there has been a lot of change to my life recently, and to help with what can be a somewhat stressful situation, I have adopted a new motto. Change is a good thing!

I have realized that change gives you the opportunity to reach for your dreams. It is always hard when something ends that was a major part of your life, the trick is to take it as an experience and learn from it. To have it be a part of what shapes you and not the only thing that defines you. To each story there is both the dark night and the silver lining. I would like to encourage you, and myself to look for the glitter; trust me you will be happy you did. After all what girl doesn't like a little glitter? Or in my case a lot of glitter!

I am excited at the opportunity I have been given to try something new, but I would be lying if I were to tell you that it isn’t scary. Scary can be good though. Think about the first rollercoaster you ever went on. For me, the line was super long. I think it may have taken 30-45 minutes to reach the part where you are put in the seat. Next comes the lap bar, and I remember being amazed that something so small was all that would be holding me in. Once the ride starts, slow and creeping at first gradually gaining speed until you reach the top and then you are slung back into your seat with so much force you begin to wonder if the lap bar is even necessary. You feel so pasted to the seat you aren’t sure you could move even if you wanted to. There may be some dips and turns, but before you know it you are crawling again and there is the realization that the ride is almost over. For me I couldn’t wait to get back in the line and start it all over again. Thinking back on this experience, and realizing how trying something new turned out so well makes me question: why the heck I waited so long to get started?

The answer is simple, complacency. I got complacent. I wasn’t happy, but I convinced myself that I was happy enough. What does that even mean? Why is it that I let fear rule my life? I know it might sound crazy to say that I am grateful I lost my job. But the last few weeks have really given me a chance to get to know myself again, and to make a commitment to chase my dreams. I started this blog to share my journey into a plant based diet and I didn’t even realize that at the same time I was expressing my love of writing. I have not been overly regular in blogging, or formatting my writing for that matter, but I want to make that commitment to be more dedicated to the blog and to my writing. I hope you will join me and remember that all that glitters may not be gold, but it can still be pretty.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Candied Walnut, Pear and Watercress Salad

Today was amazing. I got a totally genius idea. Dark chocolate balsamic candied walnuts! I only have one word for you - Amazing. They are pretty simple to make, although I will admit that cleanup is not a breeze, you will probably wanna let the pan soak a while before washing.  Here is what you need to make the candied walnuts:
2 Tbs Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar
1 cup of raw walnuts
In a warmed saute pan add in the vinegar and the sugar. Cook until bubbly one to two minutes, add in the walnuts and coat with mixture. Cook about 2 more minutes before removing them from pan. Let cool on waxed paper.

For the Salad:
2-3 cups Watercress
1 red pear, sliced
1 cup of Candied Walnuts ( see above)
2 oz of Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti Style Wedge, cut into small cubes

Layer ingredients in order from top to bottom. I served this without a salad dressing as it is sweet from the candied nuts. Enjoy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

This was something I would eat before going veg, and I am thrilled to have a recipe to share. It was so good. I started my second part time job today. At 1 pm my work day was over and I was at home thinking about the blog. A few events have come up in the last few hours to keep me from posting, but I am determined. The breading didn't quite stay on as much as I would have liked, but these were seriously yummy. Here is what you need:

1 green tomato, sliced
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 c. Vegan Parm or Parmazano
1 1/2 c. soymilk
2 tsp of The Vegg
Oil for frying

Mix The Vegg and soymilk in a blender for 15 seconds. This becomes the egg mixture for battering, pour into a shallow bowl. In a seperate bowl pour the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and Parm, stir well. Place each slice of tomato in the eggless mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Coat evenly and place in hot oil. Cook about 5 minutes each side. Place on a papertowel lined dish to drain and cool. Serve with Dill Veganise.

Dill Veganise:
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 Tbs Veganise
Mix together, Enjoy!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Strawberry Orange Juice

I am a Florida girl after all. This beautiful recipe is super simple. I put 1 cup of water and a half a pound of strawberries in the Blendtec and hit the whole juice button. For the Orange juice part I like a citrus juicer. I cut about 8 oranges in half and juiced them, then poured the two together. I realize this isn't a difficult recipe, but trust me it is AMAZING and you will feel great when you drink on it. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Very Veggie Quiche

So a while back I was reading a cookbook, yes I actually do that, and I saw a recipe for quiche that called for white beans, and the light bulb went on. I love tofu quiches, but thought why not try half and half. Not the milk cream product, but half tofu and half beans as the base for the quiche. My first quiche that I posted was super tasty, but kinda crumbly and did not stand up like this one did. Don't forget if you are single or don't have the ability to eat a whole quiche, they freeze really well. In fact, i froze this one! Of course that was after eating half of it in one sitting. I figured a little moderation was in order. If freezing, defrost on counter for 30-45 minutes. Heat skillet with a bit of oil and cook in the skillet 5 minutes each side. The quiche has 4 sides, yes I mean stand it up on each of the sides, don't just cook it front and back. Here is what you need:

1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 12.3 oz pkg Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, drained
3.5 oz Daiya Havarti style wedge, I used the Jalapeno Garlic ( or any other dairy free cheese)
1 Tbs Olive Oil
fresh veggies ( you can use whatever you have on hand) I used:
Spinach, Onions, Carrots, Mushrooms, Broccoli stalks, and Orange Pepper
1 clove garlic
1 pre-made vegan pie crust, I like the whole wheat variety.

Place the first three ingredients in the blender and pulse until smooth. Add oil and garlic to a skillet, once warmed, add in the veggies and saute until tender. Mix in the blender mixture to the veggies, stir well to combine. Pour into the prepared pie crust and bake 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool before serving to allow time to thicken.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cherry Berry Juice

Today I was feeling Juicy, and loving the simple things in life. I took
a handful of frozen strawberries
about a 1/4 cup frozen cherries
a cup of frozen blueberries
a cup of water
Add all ingredients to  a  Blendtec and hit the whole juice button. I love making juices in the blender because the cleanup is a breeze and you don't miss out on any of the fiber that you may loose using a juicer. If using fresh fruit and a high speed blender you will want to add a handful of ice for a cold juice. Enjoy.