Blog Archives

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!

Advertisements

Day 7: I’m not hungry, I…

Hello friends!

After my last post, I did a lot of pondering and my head is overflowing with thoughts right now. I find that is the best time to put them on the blog 🙂

So, let’s talk about today’s eats so far.

This morning, I had a great green monster made with 1 cup Almond Breeze, 1 sliced banana, 1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 tbsp peanut butter, a few handfuls of spinach and a few handfuls of ice. It was tasty!

Picture 012

But it made me soooo cold. I’m going to watch the weather forecasts but I’m afraid I may have to retire green monsters for the Fall/Winter. However, I want to make it a personal challenge to sneak some greens in by using other methods (like Heather’s green oats, for example). I’m all about following the seasons.

For a snack, I had…you guessed it…more nuts.

Picture 014

After this snack, I got up a did a 15-minute walk. It is on my “schedule” to run today but that’s not going to happen. I am too sore from yesterday’s workout, so I think two short walks and perhaps some yoga when I get home are good enough for today. Yep.

Lunch was something I should never do. I learned a long time ago that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do not fill me up. However, I’m a girl on a budget this month so I thought I’d give them another try.

Picture 015

With some mixed veggies, I felt pretty satisfied after I ate. But two hours later when I got back from class, I was more than ready for my snack!

Picture 016

I also had some hot chamomile tea.

After this, I really got to thinking about hunger cues and realized it was time to check in with myself again. Me and myself had sort of gotten out of synch when I got sick last week.

A little while after enjoying my snack, I thought “Great. I’m hungry again. Time to go to the bookstore and get a snack.” It had almost become an automatic response. So I waited a while and thought it through. Am I really hungry? Or is there something else going on?

After some water, another 15-minute walk, and lots of talking to myself, I came to these conclusions (for today):

  1. I am not hungry, I am bored. Bored with work today (need to get focused) and bored with my food. PB&J as good as it is, doesn’t fill me up and is rather boring. Especially when I ate it for part of my dinner last night. Bored could also be replaced with dissatisfied.
  2. I am not hungry, I have a sore throat. Sometimes I can mistake thirst for hunger. I have been experiencing a sore throat the past few days due to the ever-changing temperatures in the Ohio Valley. So I think I am mistaking a need for more fluids as hunger. I’m looking forward to grabbing a throat drop and some more tea when I get home!
  3. I am not hungry because I am not feeling anything. When I am truly hungry my stomach will growl. That is not happening at all right now. It’s true that there are times when we need to eat even when we are not completely hungry, but sitting at your desk for two more hours before you get off work is not one of those times.
  4. I am not hungry, I’m addicted. When I got sick last week, water tasted like absolute crap to me, so I downed lots of fizzy beverages which have been known to be a culprit when it comes to “faux hunger” in my case. Artificial sweeteners trick my brain into thinking it needs more food. So I’m kicking them to the curb, yet again. Yes, today is the first day so it obviously carried on beyond my sickness.
  5. I am not hungry, I’m tired/sore/etc. There are a million other things going on in my life that sometimes make me want to eat. That is why it is so important to be in touch with yourself, at all times. Today, I am feeling tired and sore. Another day, I could be happy and energetic. All of those feelings are not hunger. It’s easy to get it all confused.

What about you? Are there times when you know you aren’t hungry, even though all you can think about is eating something? What do you do?

For our Girls Night Potluck dinner tonight, I am making minestrone soup. I made it this morning, using a pre-packaged mix…something I will NEVER do again. Live and learn, right? Hope so.

Picture 013

This package looks innocent enough, in fact, I made this back in September 2008 and thought nothing of it (other than it was good and convenient, as we had experienced a bad wind storm earlier in the week). That was because I was not eating a vegan diet then.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself because while at the store over the weekend, I had all the ingredients to make Courtney’s taco soup, but I chose to save money and get this soup mix, which was on sale for $2.99. Not much less than the ingredients for the other soup, but still less. Unfortunately, I compromised more than I knew. I even glanced at the ingredients looking for certain offenders. I must’ve been blind that day.

**How could I have missed chicken fat and beef stock?!**

Don’t just assume because a soup has no meat in it that it doesn’t have animal products. Lesson learned. Going to take and eat the soup anyway, but I’ll be more careful from now on.

I’ve sort of had to compare this transition into vegan eating to transitioning into a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t do it overnight. Lord knows I made a ton of mistakes along the way. Lots of ups and downs. I’m not perfect. But I’m learning! 🙂

Day 6: The running munchies

Okay, so it’s time I did some re-assessing here. The thing that drives me crazy about running is the major appetite that it gives me, which in the past, led me to overeating a lot of sugar and carbs which led to weight gain and hence, a hiatus on running to calm things down.

I want to find a happy medium. I am not going to be running any marathons, I’m pretty much a short distance gal these days. I love me some 5Ks.

But I don’t want to have to give it up completely just because it makes me ravenous (or tricks me into thinking I am). I want to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand. So after I tell you what I ate yesterday, I’m off to do some research.

Breakfast yesterday was a banana PB oats!

Picture 001

I used 1/3 cup Almond Breeze and 1/3 cup water this time and it did make them taste creamier and added a little flavor so I think I will do that from now on. I should’ve tried that with my pumpkin oats before they ran out. Oh well!

Snacked on some nuts mid-morning, this is becoming rather redundant but I love them 🙂

Picture 002

For lunch, I had leftover tofu and some broccoli.

Picture 003

Then I still felt hungry so I raided the leftover snacks from the day before’s baby shower and took a few crackers (checked the ingredients on the box first). Pretty good!

Picture 004

A couple of hours later, it was workout time! Farrah and I ran around 1.25 miles in 10 minutes. We actually sprinted a little bit because we were trying to beat a train that was coming 😉

After our “warm up” we went into the gym and did a quick strength routine, including:

  • Squats
  • Dead lifts
  • Tricep pushdowns
  • Dips on the bench
  • Seated rowing machine
  • Leg lifts (front, side, back)
  • Abs
  • Back extensions
  • Tricep kickbacks

Whoa, no wonder I am sore today. Whenever I reflect back on what we did I am amazed because it doesn’t seem like that much at the time. We even cut off early because we were both pretty sweaty and tired 🙂

When I got back to my desk, I snacked on a Nature Valley bar (last one).

Picture 005

I love these and they are vegan but I need to reduce my intake of processed snacks for a while (again). But they will come in handy if I’m ever stuck at a gas station needing a snack 😉

I also had some of these evil things, thank goodness they are gone now.

Picture 006

It’s this kind of stuff that running makes me crave. But I don’t keep them in the house so I should be okay from now on. Tortilla chips aren’t too bad but I have trouble keeping it to one serving if you know what I mean.

I had a Pampered Chef party to go to after work and so I packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I ate on the road.

Picture 007

Most of the Pampered Chef recipes for the cooking shows include meat, mostly to showcase their baker that can go in the microwave, so I knew I had to be prepared.

They ended up making a pork tenderloin salad but the host graciously suggested they keep the meat separate. What a sweetheart! I didn’t even ask 😉

Picture 008

The salad contained some sort of salad mix, red onions (which she sliced with a gadget I so need to get), thawed frozen corn, and a dressing she made using ranch dressing and some seasonings from the Pampered Chef catalog. I know ranch dressing is not vegan, but I used a little bit anyway. I’m still working on getting this whole lifestyle down, so please excuse me for now.

I also had a nice plate of veggies and a few chips. Thank goodness they were some hungry kiddos running around so I couldn’t go back for more chips!

Picture 009

What’s funny is there was this awesome looking cake and I had zero interest in it! Usually desserts get me big time but not last night. Hmm…I’ve noticed I’m craving the salty stuff. Why is that?

When I got home, you guessed it, I was hungry…or so I thought?

Picture 010

I thought I was done after this but my stomach started growling around 10:30, which is way past my “cut off” eating time, so I had another snack.

Picture 011

Let’s just say I learned a lot today. I didn’t do anything wrong and I’m not disappointed or anything with myself. Nope. Not one bit.

I just want to change some things and get out of some ruts. I think I am officially “over” the chocolate chips and PB snack. For real. Hello burn out! And I really don’t like the bread that I bought. I mean, it tastes good but it’s too flimsy and I’d rather spend more and get better quality (like Ezekiel English muffins, yum).

Time to make some lists and get some recipes in the queue, this girl wants her whole foods back! And let’s try a few new things too 🙂

Thanks for reading…have a great day.

Day 4 – Lazy Sunday

Not only I am sleepy today but my legs are sore from all the walking I did yesterday, so I’ve decided today needs to be at least somewhat lazy for me.

I’ve still got laundry going in the other room but I’m sitting here with my feet up and thinking of taking a nap once this post goes up 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I made pumpkin oats.

002

I don’t know what it was but this bowl just didn’t blow me away. I think it might be the pumpkin, honestly. Perhaps I got an old can or it just tastes better when it’s in season?

Or maybe I need to cook them with some non-dairy milk instead of just water? Hmm…

This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats (cooked with water), 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp chocolate chips, 1 tsp pancake syrup and 1 tbsp peanut butter.

I also tried another Starbucks VIA product today that I got as a sample while I was there yesterday doing the taste test.

001

This Italian Roast was okay but I definitely prefer the Columbian, so I am glad those are the ones I purchased yesterday with my coupon. These are something I probably won’t make a habit out of since a pack of 3 normally costs $2.99 but I’ll definitely use my coupons first!

003

Spiked with some Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla.

For lunch after church, my parents, Josh and I went to McAlister’s Deli, which I hadn’t been too in a long time.

I ended up getting the Pick Two combo of half a Greek salad (with no feta) and a cup of the vegetarian chili. It was delicious.

4ef63233b621__1254647262000

b0bb4d24d70f__1254647421000

I’ve been doing some thinking and research about soy. I’ve heard a lot of things on both sides, that soy is beneficial, helps prevent cancer, good for bones, etc. But I’ve also heard that soy is dangerous, can not really cause cancer but aid in it, and also screw with your hormonal cycles.

As a woman who has struggled with irregularity of my cycles for as long as I can remember, anything that messes with that jumps on my radar. We’re talking late periods, no periods (for months at a time), heavy, light, painful and not so much. Two are hardly ever the same which makes finding the cause pretty impossible. Since there is not a clear, definitive answer that I know of about soy and it’s relation to this, I don’t know that I will do anything other than be aware.

I don’t need to become so reliant on soy since I have decided to go vegetarian and now vegan. I think I do okay with my non-dairy milks (other than Almond Breeze which does contain soy) but it is in so many other products I use that I think I need to start paying more attention.

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of soy or do you avoid it? Why?

Thanks as always for your feedback and I hope you have a great Sunday!

13 months

That is how long I made it in between colds. I slept really well on Friday night and then Saturday morning I woke up feeling amazing! Rest is the best.

But then I tried too hard. I did a 3 mile walk, went to the grocery store, cleaned and then this cold reared it’s extremely ugly head. But let’s take a step back.

Saturday morning, I had some 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and banana.

001

I also stopped on the way and got some coffee at a gas station with some International Delight creamer, which I learned contains caseinate so it is not vegan. Sad 😦

After the walk, which was great, I snacked on a Nature Valley bar. I’m really getting hooked on these. Is that bad?

002

For lunch, I had the last serving of the falafel I made along with a big carrot and creamy Italian dressing to dip it in. And ketchup 🙂

003

I snacked on some nuts (about 1 tbsp left in the jar) and half a PB sandwich in the afternoon. I tried to take a nap but when you can’t breathe through your nose it makes sleeping interesting, at least for me.

Luckily, I had an easy-going girl’s night on the agenda! Getting out of the house for a while actually did me some good I think.

We had dinner at Penn Station where I got an artichoke wrap with no cheese or mayo and added mushrooms. And fries sounded so much better than chips!

004

After dinner, we went to a book store and then stopped at Starbucks where I got a tall soy chai tea latte. It was so good! This may be my favorite now. I’m still bummed that the pumpkin spice syrup contains milk.

At Court’s house, we watched some TV including the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. I wasn’t too impressed but at least U2 was the musical guest. Next week is RYAN REYNOLDS! I need to write that boy a letter to thank him for all my blog stats 😉

I drank lots more tea and had some chocolate too. The 60% Ghirardelli has milk fat, boo!

005

This morning I woke up feeling just okay but definitely still sick. I only had one thing on my mind when I woke up…PUMPKIN.

006

My stores have been out of this stuff forever, but I managed to find this HUGE can lurking on the shelves over the weekend. How can pumpkin be out of season? I thought they kept it year round. I’m sure I will use this though, so no harm.

I made something I hadn’t had in forever…pumpkin oats!

007

This bowl contained 1/3 cup quick cooking oats, 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup pumpkin. Topped with chocolate chips, peanut butter and pumpkin pie spice. Oh how I’ve missed you. And it’s totally vegan hooray!

Coffee with Almond Breeze was also in order.

008

It wasn’t my best use of judgment, but I snagged two pumpkin muffin “bites” at church because I got hungry. This cold has increased my appetite, it’s crazy. But it was just a snack so I left it at that (just not sure about the contents).

For lunch, Mom so kindly offered to get me something, so I chose Panera because I was so in the mood for some soup!

I got the black bean which I ate with the French baguette. That filled me up for a while but an hour or so later I got hungry again so I went back for lunch part 2, half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich.

010

I totally forgot to ask for no feta! But I ate it anyway, still got a few days until October 1 and I’m learning from each experience 😉

I took a 2 hour nap (hooray) and then snacked on another selection from Nature Valley.

009

I still think this is my fave flavor. Good thing, I bought a whole box of them 😉

My diet has been rather carb-heavy but I’m chalking that up to sickness and what my body is craving, perhaps for more energy to fight off this cold. So I’m just going with it for now and when I start feeling better, things will even back out.

For dinner, I made a Boca vegan burger with spinach and hummus on whole wheat toast with carrots and more hummus.

012

The hummus was a new selection for me from Sabra which I found at Kroger this weekend on sale for $3!

011

I couldn’t really tell how hot it was but it seemed to make my nose run a bit so it must have some kick. What I could taste of it was very good and a nice change from my usual plain hummus.

Time to drink some more fluids and hit the hay early. I’m doing what works for me which is NOT taking cold medicine or any yucky stuff that just makes me feel worse.

I rely on rest, fluids, healthy food, and a vitamin C supplement (500 mg per day) plus lots of hot tea and soup to nurse me back to health.

Hopefully it will be even longer than 13 months before I get this again 🙂

Good night!

R & R

Hello! I hope wherever you are that you are having a great day. It’s rather rainy and cloudy here, perfect day to stay in the house catching up on rest and relaxation!

I’m rather sore today so exercise of any kind is the furthest thing from my mind 😉

Last night for dinner, we went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate our friend Beth’s birthday. I started off with a couple pieces of bread (no butter) because I was hungry by the time we got there!

86567de18c4f__1253374401000

8718f8487857__1253374782000

For my dinner, I ordered the Fresh Vegetable Salad with no cheese. It came with Asparagus, Green Beans, Tomato, Cucumber, Roasted Beets, Apple, Edamame, Radicchio, Romaine with Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

This was an “appetizer salad” but man it was huge!

ddb5692e0816__1253377073000

Here is a pic of me and some friends at dinner, including the birthday girl on the right 🙂 I look like I have something coming out of my head, no? Check out the huge salad bowl!

9317_1220956278087_1054328859_700611_3561226_n

I ate the whole thing 🙂 It was delicious and I wasn’t too full when we left either. Lots of friends ordered some amazing looking cheesecake, but I am just not a fan, even before I stopped eating dairy.

We had another birthday party to get to, but I managed to stop at Starbucks to pick up a tall soy pumpkin spice latte! This is only my second one so I think I am doing okay at moderation!

While hanging out with friends and watching the UFC (which was so disappointing-yet another guy I like lost) I snacked on some tortilla chips.

f98ea360ad96__1253391079000

I was proud of myself for passing up dessert at the restaurant and not eating any birthday cake either. But honestly, I did not want it and the pumpkin spice latte helped too I’m sure!

I also had some peppermint tea before bed. It’s my favorite!

~~~

This morning, I woke up and made some hot cereal with peanut butter and sliced pears.

001

Now that I’ve had a day or two to think about it…I do prefer almond butter! I never thought I’d say that in my life. But MaraNatha did it for me. I’ve heard Barney Butter is good too but I can’t afford it (the one place in town I can find it has it selling for $9 a jar)!

I drank some coffee with Almond Breeze and a second cup black. I got a bit hungry at the end of Sunday School and I forgot to bring a snack so I had a blueberry muffin to hold me over.

7b6ea09dd7ab__1253429983000

I have no idea if it contained dairy but I’m almost sure it did. Oh well.

For lunch, Josh, Mom, Dad and I went to Zaytun’s Mediterranean Grill, which was so exciting to me as this is my favorite type of food. This was my third time visiting, as I have been once with my friend Aleta and another time with Mom.

I ordered a vegetarian platter that came with hummus, Baba Ghanouj and falafel. Doesn’t get much better than this!

3e7c7cf66df3__1253438970000

I ate all the hummus (with 4 pita slices) and 2.5 of the falafel balls (I made Mom try some). Josh got this really huge meaty gyro, which he said was okay. I was proud of him for trying it though. He’s just not as into it as me 😉

When we got home, I ran a couple of quick errands and then had a piece of organic dark chocolate for a snack.

002

I’m doing my best to stay off my feet today but I think it’s time to switch the laundry around so I’d better at least do that, ha ha. Hope you have a great afternoon, be back later with dinner!