Blog Archives

Vegan no bake cookies!

Even though I have been eating a vegan diet for more than 2 years now, there are still some old favorite dishes and other food items that I have yet to replicate minus the meat, eggs and dairy. One of those is no bake cookies. You know, the yummy ones that show up at just about every holiday party? I haven’t had them in years and honestly hadn’t even thought about them much.

Then we had plans Monday night to visit a friends’ house and we needed to bring a snack. For some reason they popped into my head and I went straight to the internet to find a recipe that contained ingredients I already had on hand at home. Success! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! I also wish I had thought to start taking pictures sooner.

Not only are these super tasty but I love the fact that you don’t have to bake them; although waiting for them to cool and harden is almost as time consuming ;)

I found this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter no bake cookies on the Peta website thanks to Google! It was the first one that popped up when I searched for “vegan no bake cookies” so I went with it. I  followed the directions and ingredients exactly so you’ll have to click the link if you want to try it yourself :) But I promise, they are delicious!


Still enjoying them for dessert a couple days later ;)

Vegan Cinnamon Muffins

I have been reading Jenna’s blog for years, which means that for a long time, I have been drooling over her recipes! But it’s possible that I have either a) never made any of them myself or b) I have but it’s been so long that I can’t remember.

Well, whichever situation it is, I finally remedied that!

Jenna has a lot of vegan recipes on Eat Live Run but I chose to recreate her originally non-vegan Cinnamon Toast Muffins because I knew they were something my husband and friends would enjoy and that I could easily make some substitutes for myself in order to make it vegan.

Vegan Cinnamon Muffins (adapted from Cinnamon Toast Muffins by Jenna @ Eat Live Run)

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze)

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Ener-G egg replacer “egg” (1.5 tsp powder + 2 tbsp warm water)

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

Dash of salt

Topping: 4 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1 heaping tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in one big bowl and the wet ingredients in a second, smaller bowl. Combine the two together and mix until well combined (I always have trouble with flour sticking to the bottom of my bowl so I make sure to scrape the bottom really good as I mix). Bake in a greased muffin tin for 25 minutes, poke center muffin with toothpick to make sure they are done.

To make the topping, melt the butter on the stove and then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. I thought mine was too chunky so I added a little water, then it was too runny so I couldn’t get it to stick very well. Next time I will just roll the muffins in the chunks :)

This recipe yielded 8 muffins for me, I actually used the wrong measuring cup for the flour, milk, and sugar and you will see that Jenna’s original recipe called for more of those three ingredients, so if I had managed to do that correctly, I may have gotten 9 or 10. But they were still awfully delicious!

I took these for dessert to my in-laws house a while back and everyone seemed to enjoy them, but I also had some for breakfast, which I have to say they were probably better suited for. I recommend 10 seconds in the microwave, plus a smear of peanut butter.

Thanks Jenna for sharing amazing recipes with the world. I will definitely make this one again!

Have you tried any great recipes recently? Feel free to share in the comments section!

I love Mondays

Yes, you read that right, it is not a typo or even sarcasm. I really do appreciate Mondays more than the average person.

Courtesy of Google Images

It’s kind of funny to read Facebook posts on Monday mornings. People recovering from a busy weekend and heading back to work are groaning and complaining that Mondays are the worst days ever. While I was pretty busy myself this weekend and had to get up for work this morning too, I still find myself inspired and excited about Mondays.

For one thing, Monday is the day I feel most motivated to work out. I tend to indulge a bit on the weekends, not just with food but with relaxation and naps. So on Monday it’s time to get back to the grind, either outside or in the gym (90 degrees outside today = gym for me). Starting a new week off with a workout means I am likely to keep it up the rest of the week and feel really good about myself too. Today, I plan to hit the stair master for a bit and then perhaps do some weights or an ab workout.

I also tend to eat the healthiest on Monday. After a weekend indulgence, my body craves fresh, whole foods and lots of water, which is exactly what I give it. I also like to spend more time cooking dinner on Mondays because I don’t have anywhere to be that evening, unlike Tuesday – Thursday evenings and most of the weekend. Tonight, I will probably make a standard Monday night dish for me of whole grain pasta with organic garden sauce, add some veggies, chik’n strips, nutritional yeast and have a salad on the side too. Sort of like this one:

I also like Mondays because it’s one of the only evenings during the week that my husband and I spend the whole time together. We usually have dinner and then watch a movie or catch up on some tv shows we’ve recorded on the DVR, then flip over to WWE Monday Night Raw and watch as much of that as we can stand before having to call it a night because we’re old and have to go to bed early, ha ha.

What about you? Monday fan or not?

Vegan cookout

In my 17 months as a vegan, I have been to many, many potlucks, a cookie exchange and other gatherings surrounded by food. It’s so nice to go somewhere and not have to say “what’s in this?” or “can I eat this?”

But it wasn’t until this past weekend that I went to a vegan cookout! And it was so much fun :)

Saturday was Derby Day here in Kentucky but the Louisville Vegetarian Club decided to have an “alternative” cookout held at Tyler Park here in Louisville. This event was sponsored by Tofurky and Rainbow Blossom (a local health food store) who both donated food items!

What a beautiful day it was!

Pd

And the food was yummy too!

Tofurkey!

Tofurky brat on a Rudi’s hot dog bun with relish, mustard, ketchup and some organic tortilla chips with Athenos roasted garlic hummus :)

And of course, the rest of the crew brought some really delicious food to share!

Yum

Carrie‘s black bean quinoa and Seana’s vegan macaroni salad

Somebody knew my birthday was the day before and made this amazingly decadent chocolate cake with ganache and strawberries :)

Cake!

Thank you Carrie ;-)

I also had some spicy pasta salad a la Karen and these insanely addictive peanut butter chocolate chip blondies. Let’s just say I did not need to eat the rest of the evening!

I have to thank everyone for coming out and for sharing some truly wonderful dishes. You guys are so wonderful and I’m so glad to have this group in my life :)

The Happy Herbivore stops by!

If you have not heard of the Happy Herbivore or her awesome recipes yet, you are truly missing out.  To get you all properly introduced, she has offered to answer some questions for me and shares one of her recipes with you too!

Meet Lindsay, the Happy Herbivore :)

The Interview

See Sarah Eat: How did you become vegan?

Happy Herbivore: I went vegan while on vacation in San Fran in Dec 2006. I’d been
vegetarian on and off my entire life, (and had been veg for about year
consistently by then). I’d heard so much about veganism; all these
health benefits, that I was curious, but worried it would be too hard
where I lived. Since SF is a vegan’s town I figured I might as well
experiment where it was “easy.” I felt so good, that I stuck with it
when I got home. Seeing huge, positive changes in me — more energy,
no tummy troubles, weight-loss, clear skin, kept me going and then
when I found out about all the horrors of the dairy and egg
industries, I knew I’d be vegan for life.

SSE: Amen to that! So, what do you think are some of the biggest challenges to eating a vegan diet?

HH: You have to give up a sense of convenience, which is not necessarily a
bad thing. In my early months as a vegan I was annoyed that I could
no-longer just grab a slice of pizza, or a muffin at starbucks; I had
to pack my lunch… but one thing I’ve realized is how GOOD that is. I
used to eat out a lot and my wallet and waste line suffered for it.
Being vegan really does help me stay on track and make good choices.

SSE: What inspired you to write your own cookbook?

HH: When the opportunity presented itself, I wasn’t entirely sure I even
wanted to write one. I’d been considering it, and had just started
looking into it when I met my publisher haphazardly, but once the
project started going I got really into it. I realized it was the
opportunity I’d been waiting for: to show people that eating
vegan–and eating healthy–is easy, approachable, affordable and
delicious!

SSE: What is your favorite recipe that you have created?

HH: My favorites come and go in waves. Last week I was obsessed with the
nacho cheese sauce but right now I would give just about anything for
a carrot cake cupcake.

SSE: What new recipes/projects are you working on now?

HH: I’m in the middle of writing my second cookbook, and after that I’ll
write my third cookbook and after that, I plan to open my own
restaurant, or something. I’d really like to be on TV too! I guess I
have a lot of aspirations!

That she does!

Thank you Lindsay for answering my questions and for being an inspiration and a big help to me when I went vegan. Your recipes are some of my all time favorites (mmm, meatloaf) and I definitely credit you for helping me realize that vegan cooking doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive :)

Make this recipe!

Lindsay is generously allowing me to share one of her recipes with you guys, which I hope you will all go home and make right now. Seriously, this stuff sounds delicious!

Quick Queso (makes 1 cup) – Lindsay says: “It’s okay to go at this sauce with a spoon. I won’t judge.” ;-)

1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until thick. Serve immediately.

Note: Gluten-free flours or blends may be substituted, such as chickpea flour. Also, add a 1 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies for a Mexican Queso twist.

Quick Queso

Photo credit: Happy Herbivore flickr page

Biographical notes

Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. Lindsay’s recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women’s Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about Lindsay and sample some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com

Louisville Vegetarian Club meets again!

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I last posted a meeting announcement, but this coming Saturday, February 26th, the Louisville Vegetarian Club will be meeting at Cumberland Brews starting at 1:00 p.m.

Check out the invite on Facebook and RSVP if you wish to attend!

This month’s discussion will be led by Andrew, who has a food blog of his own, Jolly Green’s Kitchen :) The topic is “Vegan on the Cheap” and I’m really looking forward to learning some new ways to save money while eating a vegan diet.

So many people assume that healthy, vegetarian or vegan means expensive. Sometimes that is true, especially if you rely on a lot of processed foods. But there are ways around it and the benefits of a healthy diet will save you money in the long run.

If you are in the Louisville area and you are currently vegetarian, vegan or an omnivore interested in the vegan diet, come on out and join us!

“Cooking for Friends and Lovers” e-book

I am very happy to announce that my friend Lindsay over at Cook.Vegan.Lover has released her second e-book: “Cooking for Friends & Lovers.”

I got to be a tester for a handful of these recipes, which was really exciting! I had planned to share on this blog before the release, but believe me when I say that there are some amazing and creative recipes in this book that you must try!

My favorite was probably the banana protein pancakes with agave glazed berries, but I really did like everything I tested. I will post pictures soon but in the meantime, go check out Lindsay’s post and support her by purchasing this amazing e-book!

Guest post: Kim’s meatless year

Hello friends! While I am still gathering my thoughts and photos on what to post next for myself, please welcome my friend Kim! Kim is a foodie and blogger who has recently decided to go meat free for an entire year and document her journey in a new blog: Meatless 365

I know many of you who read my blog are vegetarian or vegan, but I just ask that you keep an open mind and respect another opinion that may be differing from yours. I know you will :) Thanks!

Hi!  My name is Kim Davidson.  Sarah and I have been friends for about 2 years now and she has been such an encouragement to me.  I am a writer, cook, and photographer in Raleigh, NC. In addition to Meatless 365, I also post recipes, writings, and photos at my regular website, Kd316 and you can also follow my Tweets @kd316.

Sarah sent me a few questions to answer in this post, so here it goes!

1. What made you decide to go meatless?

Honestly, I woke up one day and said, “what would make people go meatless for a year?” and posed that question on social media forums.  Got a bunch of answers, but mostly: “for real? You gotta be kidding me!”  So, that really challenged me.  I said, “I can do this!”  And after that initial moment of pure will power, I knew it would be a challenge for me, a chance to spice up my kitchen, and get me excited about cooking and eating again.  Sometimes, you just get bored – even someone like me, who loves being in the kitchen!

2. What are you hoping to gain from going meatless for a year?

A new love for my kitchen and things that grow in the ground.  A new love for my kitchen: sometimes, even though I love meat, I get bored with the same things.  So, I want to try new healthy things and healthy foods in different ways.  And, things that grow in the ground: I don’t want to survive on processed foods for a year either (granola bars, etc).  I want to get natural foods in my body to help me feel and move better!  I know there are so many vitamins and minerals and other good “things” in foods that grow in the ground, so cool how God made things that would help us live better lives!  I also want to strengthen my food photography skills.  I would love to write for food magazines and use my photos to bring out the brilliant colors in vegetables and food.  There is beauty in food.  As Emerson said; “Beauty is God’s handwriting.”

3. Do you think at the end of 365 days, you will continue to abstain from meat?

I have already considered that; and I probably won’t.  But, I will eat meat a lot less than I do now (or did), but I don’t feel any food is BAD for you, but just eaten in moderation.  I will hopefully have found wonderful recipes to keep eating and trying new recipes in the years to come.  I like bbq, steak, and bacon too much to cut it out entirely for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to be kicked out of my family (my family loves meat!)

4. Has anyone asked you “but where will you get your protein?” yet?

One of the first questions I got.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Like there isn’t any protein other than meat.  I told this person, “why yes, I am!”  I love raw nuts, greens, legumes, cheese, dairy, nut butters, seafood, eggs.  So many ways to get healthy sources of real protein without going to meat or “fake meat”.

5. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this experiment?

I love to cook for other people.  I think I will have to be creative when doing that and maybe even cook meat meals for them, which isn’t a problem.  Also, eating with my family.  My brother grills a good steak and we love bbq.  But, for this year, I’ll have to be prepared and have salmon when they have steak.  All those healthy fats and vitamins! :)

Any last words?

Happy food journey – whatever you eat.

Thanks, Kim! I look forward to following you on your journey and can’t wait to see what all you experience throughout. I hope you will do a follow-up for us at the end of the year!

Is anyone else out there going meat free this year? Want to write about it?

Tofurky Pizza and Blog Evolution

I have to admit, this thing has been in my freezer for quite some time.

I was really excited when I heard that the vegan Tofurky Pizza finally came out and were being carried at my local Whole Foods Market. The best selling point for this pizza is the Daiya cheese, which is the best vegan cheese (for pizza) on the market, in my opinion. I tried it on a homemade pizza once and it was delicious.

I didn’t care much for the high price of this item (around $7) but you have to factor convenience into the cost. This would feed me for at least two meals and only took 12 minutes to cook in the oven. No time spent on preparation or chopping veggies for toppings.

I decided to get the Italian “Sausage” and Fire Roasted Veggie because a plain cheese pizza just sounded boring to me and the only other choice was pepperoni. I need my veggies! Plus, this may be the only time I try this product so I had to go all out!


The left side got bent a little bit from being shoved around in my freezer for several weeks.  But other than that slight defect, this looked pretty good!

The Good:

  • I liked that the crust was thin and got a little crispy thanks to my cooking it directly on the oven rack.
  • The vegetables were delicious!
  • Short cooking time and easy to cut with my pizza cutter.

And the Not-So-Good:

  • Even though this pizza tasted decent, it probably still isn’t worth $7.
  • There was not nearly enough Daiya cheese on this pizza.
  • The Italian sausage was just okay, I expected it to be a bit more flavorful.

Verdict?

I would probably buy this product again, perhaps another variety, if I need to get a vegan pizza to go and the store I am at is all out of Amy’s No Cheese Roasted Vegetable Pizza. The sauce they use on that pizza is so good, you don’t even need non-dairy cheese.

I had the leftovers for lunch today and I have to stick by my “just okay” review. But I’m glad I finally tried it!

Have any of you tried the Tofurky pizza? Did you like it?

Blog Evolution

I have not been blogging a whole lot the past few months and it’s had me doing a lot of thinking regarding this blog and it’s future. By the way, I’m happily taking suggestions on name changes. Ha.

I feel like in many ways, I have moved away from what this blog was originally intended for (an accountability/food journal) and that’s okay. A lot has changed in the past two and a half years that I’ve been blogging here.

But what hasn’t changed is that I still love to write and share the things I enjoy with people, which is what I want to continue to do here. I love this community!

While my weight loss is a big part of my “story” and a reason for blogging, I don’t want to focus on that so much anymore. I still struggle sometimes to maintain my weight but I’m in a good place now and have another system of accountability that is working well for me now.

I also went vegan more than a year ago and so much about that has changed my life and my views on a lot of things regarding food, health and other topics.

So anyway, please be patient with me as I work out the kinks and decide how best to move this blog forward. And if you have any advice, I’ll at least consider it ;-)

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