Archive | May, 2011

(Cheat) Green Smoothie

29 May

When I first started eating vegan, I consumed many homemade green smoothies. Banana, frozen berries, kale leaves, almond milk, and flax seed… Mmmmm.

Unfortunately, I don’t currently own a high quality blender (I’ve heard Vitamix is the way to go), so my smoothie kick slowly diminished as I got tired of the little-too-lumpy texture of the smoothies I’d make myself. So lately I’ve been opting for a more instant, smooth, yet still green drink.

Delicious. I try to drink 8 oz. every morning.

I love cupcakes!

25 May

I went to my parents’ house this weekend, and although they aren’t vegetarians all the time, my mom often fixes veggie meals for everyone when I come visit (she’s the sweetest!). This time it was simply delicious whole-wheat pasta with tomato sauce and vegetables, and a three-bean salad – from simplyrecipes.com.

Prep time: 10 minutes
INGREDIENTS
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
METHOD
1 In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary.
2 In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.
3 Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.
Yield: Serves 4 to 8.

Soooo, so good!! I’m assuming it’s meant as a side dish, but I could eat this for a whole meal.

And now to the subject of my post: CUPCAKES!

So, I care about my health. But I also have a mighty fine sweet teeth at times, so I’m always excited to find healthier (and more yummy) versions of dessert recipes. Last night I made some chocolate-mint cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I started with this recipe from BabycakesNYC and make just a few tweeks:

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup blue agave nectar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup hot water

for icing (adapted from vegetarian.about.com):
1 container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup soy margarine
2 cups powdered sugar* – I made my own “unrefined” by putting 2 cups evaporated cane juice + 2 tsp arrowroot into a blender until very fine.
1 tsp blue agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

How to:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil, agave nectar, applesauce, and extracts until well combined. Then add hot water and keeping stirring until batter is smooth.
3. Pour batter into each cup until almost filling it. Bake cupcakes on center rack for about 24 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees after 14 minutes.
(While the cupcakes bake, prepare the icing and put in refrigerator until ready to use.)
The finished cupcakes will bounce back when pressure is applied to center, and toothpick inserted into centers should come out clean.
4. Let cupcakes stand in tins for 20 minutes, then place on cooling racks. Apply about 1 tbsp of icing to top of each cupcake. ENJOY!

About

22 May

My name is Lauren, and I am a 22-year-old technical communications major/nutrition minor at Texas Tech University. And I’m vegan! And it’s absolutely one of the best decisions I’ve made for my life. Since becoming vegan on Jan. 1, 2011, I’ve lost weight, gained more energy, had clearer skin, gained confidence in my beliefs and identity, and learned that the best way to live is with respect for ALL beings. I’ve discovered a deep compassion within myself that I’ve never felt before.

I, like many people I’ve encountered, used to scoff at the word “vegan”, thinking it was a term for a crazy, unrealistic person having to pop multivitamins all the time just to stay nourished. But how wrong I was. I’ve always been health conscious. I feel like taking care of your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and it really does have a huge impact on how you feel each day. I’ve always been researching the latest findings in nutrition, so naturally I came across articles and websites actually describing the benefits of a vegan diet. And once I checked it out for myself – read some books, cooked my own vegan recipes, and realized that living without meat, eggs, and dairy was actually more fun and made me feel better than a diet with them – I have not looked back. This blog is just to record aspects of my vegan life, and I hope you enjoy 🙂

Recommended books:

Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone (This is also a cookbook.)

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell (I have not yet read this, although I have heard wonderful things about it and plan to have my own copy soon.)

Cookbooks

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay Nixon (FAVORITE)

Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon (ANOTHER FAVORITE)

Vegan College Cookbook by PETA (If you’re a college student new to cooking and/or veganism, especially if living in a dorm, you need this!)

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin

Stevia: Naturally Sweet Recipes for Desserts, Drinks, and More by Rita Depuydt (This is not actually a vegan cookbook, but I very easily make the recipes vegan, which are delicious!)

Films

Fork Over Knives

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Food, Inc