Blog Archives

Banana walnut chocolate chip pancakes

On Sunday morning, I like to make a special breakfast for myself, which usually means something like pancakes, waffles or French toast. This Sunday was no exception!

Believe it or not, I somehow managed to let myself run out of peanut butter (don’t worry, I have more now) so I had to work with what ingredients I had on hand.

What occurred was an amazing breakfast!

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I used 1/4 + 1/8 cup of Hodgson Mill’s Buckwheat pancake mix. I added 1 tsp Ener-G egg replacer, 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and 1/4 cup + a splash of unsweetened rice milk and combined.

I also smashed half a banana and put it in the pancake mix. I cooked them over medium heat until they were done and then topped them with chocolate chips, walnuts, the other half of the banana and syrup.

Even without peanut butter, this breakfast made my day!

Do you like to make a “special” breakfast on the weekends?

Happy Herbivore’s Vegan Corndogs

When I first decided to go vegan, I was not very creative when it came to my meals and I worried I would get bored from eating the same things all the time or relying too much on frozen meals.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long after I started my journey that I found the Happy Herbivore blog and her incredibly easy and tasty recipes!

Last night, I made her Baked Vegan Corndogs for the girls to take to our Wednesday Night Potluck.

I only had to buy a couple ingredients, including the dogs, dry mustard and onion powder.

And finally, after 7 months of vegan eating, I purchased my first box of Ener-G Egg replacer!

The box costs about $5, but there are 113 servings in the box! This is equivalent to 113 eggs!! It’s CHEAPER THAN EGGS! This box should last me a while 🙂

I followed the recipe exactly, which I rarely do. But, I still had a hard time getting the batter to coat the Smart Dogs, so it took a little effort and getting my hands dirty.

I also got the batter to cover 8 dogs, instead of the 6 called for by the recipe.

While they were cooking in the oven, I couldn’t believe how much my apartment smelled like “real” corndogs! I knew we were in for a treat.

When the corndogs came out, the coating wasn’t the prettiest and it had cracked in a few places.

But, I am pleased to say that these tasted very good. I tasted one first to make sure they were edible 😉

I never doubted it! Every recipe from Happy Herbivore I have tried has been great. I can’t wait for her cookbook to come out next year, I will be purchasing it for sure 🙂

To go with our “dogs” we had sweet potato fries, mixed vegetables…

and white wine.

Then for dessert, “sparkling” pink wine and a Tofutti mini ice cream sandwich.

Rewind

On my way home from work I was hungry (and thirsty!) so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up a snack 🙂

This tea was okay, but not as “refreshing” as I had hoped for. I think next time I’ll just get a venti iced green tea from Starbucks 😉

Recipe: Chickpea Burgers with Guacamole

Doesn’t that sound like a strange combination?

007The original recipe on which this was based was called Chickpea Burgers & Tahini Sauce but as I was preparing to make the main dish for girl’s night potluck last Wednesday (St. Patrick’s Day), I realized “I need something GREEN!”

Guacamole was an easy choice and I have used it on black bean burgers before so I was sure it would be just fine on these too.

But first, I had to make the burgers! I changed a few things from the original recipe but I’m still “quoting” it.
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Ingredients:

    • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
    • 4 scallions (aka green onions), trimmed and sliced
    • 1 Flax “egg” (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon ground cilantro
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Whole wheat pita pockets

Directions:

Place chickpeas, scallions, flax mixture, flour, cilantro, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender.

Pulse, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides, until a coarse, moist mixture forms that holds together when pressed. Form into 4 patties.

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Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray then add patties and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.

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Carefully flip and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more.

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I was so afraid these were going to be soggy and not hold together very well, but I was pleasantly surprised!

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I tallied up my version of this recipe and each burger was 150 calories. Love it!

We enjoyed these burgers in pitas with guacamole (yum!) and some lovely fries and ketchup.

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I love girl’s night!

These burgers were so delicious! I think I have another recipe to work into my rotation. I love how this was a non-vegan recipe but with a few small changes, I made it so 🙂

Guest Post: ToFoo Yung

I am currently enjoying the beautiful state of North Carolina! Since there is not a lot of time to blog, I have another awesome guest post coming your way.

Please welcome Carrie who is not only a vegan and yoga teacher, but an awesome cook as well! Thanks Carrie for sharing this recipe with us, I can’t wait to make it when I get home 🙂

Egg Foo Yung is a typical Chinese American dish that you might find at your local take-out joint.  Basically an omelet filled with veggies, and traditionally deep fried, although many home cooks pan fry their Egg Foo Yung. 

Egg Foo Yung was derived to please Western palates and is based on the more traditional Chinese dish of Fu Yung Egg Slices from Shanghai. 

Egg Foo Yung is one of the few Chinese dishes that does not come cooked in sauce, but rather with a brown sauce or gravy on the side. 

The vegetables in Egg Fu Yung vary greatly but often consist of celery, onions, bamboo shoots, and almost always mung bean sprouts

Different from an omelet, in Egg Fu Yung the vegetables are actually combined with the egg before frying rather than folded in the middle.

A batch of freshly sprouted mung beans is actually what lead to the creation of this vegan version of Egg Foo Yung, or ToFoo Yung, if you will! 

I have a huge batch of mung beans that just came out of the sprouter, and I was looking for ways to use them up.  Salads and stir-fry seemed so boring, then it hit me; Egg Foo Yung!

This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, and is a great BLD (breakfast, lunch, or dinner).  Serve it with a side of stir fried broccoli and garlic for a complete meal.

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ToFoo Yung
Serves 2

  • ½ block Extra Firm Tofu (pressing is not necessary for this dish)
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup freshly sprouted mung beans
    **bean sprouts are available in the produce section of
    your grocery store if you do not have sprouter.
  • 2 tsp. Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish

For Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cup mock chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 3 Tbs. Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbs. agave nectar
  • 1 ½ Tbs corn starch
  • 4 Tbs. cold water

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and set aside.  Begin heating 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet (you want your pan and oil to get screaming hot).  In a large bowl add all Foo Yung ingredients (to cilantro), crumbling tofu over veggies.

Using you hands, squish together tofu and veggies, as if you were making a meatloaf.  Add tofu-veggie mixture to screaming hot skillet, then using a wooden spoon press it around the bottom of the skillet to form a thin layer (like and omelet or a pancake). 

Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until bottom of tofu layer is browned.  Using a large spatula flip tofu mixture over (keeping it together as best possible, and pressing any bits that fell apart back together).  Reduce heat to medium and continue to brown on opposite side.

While second side of tofu is browning, in a small sauce pan add stock, tamari and agave and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, re-stir cornstarch mixture and whisk into broth.  Reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness (should be the consistency of gravy).

Again, using a large spatula plate the ToFoo Yung on a dish, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve sauce on the side to pour over at the table.

I’d like to finish up by thanking Sarah for letting me guest post for her this week and share this exciting recipe with you. (It was my pleasure, isn’t she amazing?!)

If you liked this recipe visit me at The Happy Vegan Yogini for more great vegan recipes.

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have dessert for our girl’s night potluck tonight and I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

A few weeks ago, I was watching my girl Nigella on Food Network and she was making some delicious chocolate chip muffins.

Now, I’m pretty sure all of her recipes aren’t vegan but this one was simple enough that I was able to make appropriate vegan substitutions as well as save some calories by reducing the sugar and fat content.

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Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from Nigella Lawson)

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (her recipe calls for 3/4 cup, I always cut back)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy semisweet chocolate chips (as opposed to 1 cup and I still ended up having 2 tbsp leftover) including some to sprinkle
  • 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup all natural applesauce (replaced the egg and oil)

Directions: Mix dry ingredients first, then add wet ingredients in. Stir until well combined, then pour into 12 muffin cups.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Her recipe online said vanilla extract, but I don’t recall hearing that on the show and I didn’t write it down. But I’m sure they are fine without it!

I added up everything I used and these came out to be about 150 calories per muffin. Awesome 🙂

I licked the spoon after I poured the mixture into the cups. The batter tasted like pudding. I had to fill the bowl with water before I licked it too!

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They looked great when they came out of the oven. I wish my pan were more attractive, ha ha.

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I love how the chips on top melt but still stay mostly intact.

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I packed the muffins up last night to get ready to take to for the girls.

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But I knew there was no way I wasn’t trying one (or two) first. I had to make sure they were edible, right?

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They were delicious! The only bad thing is they kind of stuck to the paper.

026Can’t wait to share these with the girls 🙂 I’m sure they will love them!

Do you watch Food Network? Have you ever made a recipe you saw on a show?

Improvising

On Saturday morning, I wanted a “special” breakfast and since I had some bread I needed to use up, I made French toast!

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I didn’t have a recipe to go from and I didn’t feel like finding one, so I just guessed based on what I know about making French toast.

I think it turned out great!

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French Toast

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 flax “egg” (1 tbsp flax + 1/4 cup water)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Two “shakes” of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of ginger
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg

Mix all ingredients (except bread) together, then dip bread in mixture on each side. Then toast on a griddle or skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned.

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I’m glad I just figured it out on my own instead of using a recipe. I want to experiment with other flavors and perhaps add in some raisins or other stuff in the future.

I’m so glad that being vegan does not mean I have to sacrifice foods that taste as good as this French toast did. In fact, I think it tastes better because it’s vegan 😉

Vegan burgers and tofu pudding

On Wednesday night, us girls got together for our weekly potluck meal.

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We enjoyed the Morningstar Farms vegan veggie burgers, which I did not even know existed!

I have to say, the taste of this burger was WAY BETTER than Boca. I was surprised really, because before I was vegan, I would usually prefer Boca over Morningstar products.

The tater tots and veggies were delicious too. A really fun and tasty cookout-type meal, in the dead of winter 😉

For dessert, I made my famous Tofu Chocolate Pudding, which we topped with strawberries. Yum!

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I love this pudding because it’s simple to make and even if it is a little high in calories, I feel okay having it every once in a while because of its few ingredients and great taste 🙂

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The strawberries were also surprisingly good, considering it’s not yet strawberry season!

I can’t wait for Farmer’s Markets to open up again, how about you?

Wholly delicious

Wednesday was really a surprisingly good day of eats!

For breakfast, I had leftover waffles and half of a pink grapefruit.

Lunch was in two parts: first, I had PB&J on a rye bun. I don’t know what possessed me to do this (because you know rye has a certain flavor) but somehow it turned out good. With brussel sprouts.

And then finished it off with carrots & hummus. I was afraid this wouldn’t fill me up (PB&J rarely does) but somehow it worked today!

I snacked on a Larabar before a dental appointment (and brushed my teeth, ha ha). Then when I got home, I was hungry while making the meal for our Girl’s Night Potluck, so I had a banana to hold me over 🙂

Everything we had this week was really simple, but turned out great!

I once again made Mama Pea’s black bean burgers. I will never get tired of these; they taste great and they are so cheap and easy to make too!

I picked up these rye buns (same one my PB&J came on earlier) at Kroger on Tuesday, after perusing all the choices and ingredients. Most of the white and wheat buns had egg whites, so I was glad to find these. I think they tasted great!

For our side, we had some steamed mixed vegetables. This mix is my favorite, I must be a fan of starchy veggies 😉

But the real star of our show was the topping for the burgers!

The “pico de gallo style” guacamole from Wholly Guacamole was out of this world! Best prepackageg guac I have ever had 🙂

If you’ve ever had the black bean burger at Max & Erma’s, there’s comes with guacamole on it too, which is where I think I must’ve gotten the idea from.

Finally, my plate (plus more veggies afterwards)!

It wouldn’t be girl’s night without wine!

This Glen Ellen pinot grigio was quite tasty! I always like trying new brands I hadn’t heard of.

Courtney said she wasn’t sure what to think since this bottle was pretty cheap (I think $3.99). But sometimes, I think that just makes it taste better 😉

4 months of vegan

Wow, it seems like October 1st was just yesterday. But in some ways it also seems like a lifetime ago, right?

After some experimenting in September, I decided to try vegan for a month in October 2009. Thankfully, it has stuck around much longer than a month.

I got to celebrate my first vegan Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. I had a few minor “slips” over that time and even considered sliding back to just being vegetarian, but after reading some encouraging comments and posts from other vegan bloggers and remembering why it is that I chose this diet and where it has taken me, I recommitted to it and feel very good about that choice.

Even deeper than just a diet, I set out to change a lot of things about my life, which I had felt at the time were getting out of control. I made a list…let’s see how I did.

  1. Eating a plant-based, animal-free diet (no meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) – essentially only vegan foods With the exception of the occasional hidden ingredient that I miss, I feel like this has become second nature to me. I don’t miss anything and I’m enjoying food so much more now that I know what it is I’m eating!
  2. Exercising for health, fun, stress relief, and peace of mind — not to run myself down or to “undo” over eating  I definitely feel like my relationship with exercise is in a much healthier place these days. I don’t guilt myself over missing a workout or use exercise as punishment. I’m really enjoying everything I’m doing for my body and mind.
  3. Listening to my body and resting when I need to rest  This is a big one, it’s tough too. I think I’ve done okay with this, but we’ll see when I really get challenged. I think the last few snow days we’ve had were signs for me that I needed to take things slow 😉
  4. Creating peace and harmony in my daily life through prayer, meditation, and relaxation Oh yes! I have been taking a lot of quiet time for the past month or so, doing my daily Bible readings and practicing yoga. I cannot even tell you how much more calm and relaxed I feel now; it carries me throughout the day.
  5. Eliminating or reducing things in my life that cause me stress One of these things was finding a new perspective about my current job. Ideally, I see myself in another career field somewhere down the line but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy what I’m doing right now. Also, learning to ignore negative noise (instead of trying to solve it) is something I am so glad I finally figured out. It’s lead to “hiding” a lot of people on Facebook, turning off the TV, and lots of other little things but it makes a difference. We are bombarded with it, it’s not healthy!
  6. Focus more on serving others through volunteering or random acts of kindness and favors Still need a lot of work here. I smile at everyone, open doors for people, and give directions constantly, but I need to go out of my way to help someone.
  7. Start ministering to people in my church in an area I feel passionate about This is a work in progress as well. Our Women’s Ministry team is just now getting back together and we’re going to take things slow. But I do hope that something will develop within the next year or so. Just this week I did volunteer to work in the nursery one Sunday a month. I’m also a greeter at church, but we’re on a six week or so rotation.
  8. Stay close to God and find a Bible study to participate in I’m still looking for a group, but I have been diligent about reading the Bible on my own, something I had just been doing on Sundays for way too long. It’s amazing how much closer to God I feel when I stay in the Word. Plus there is always more to learn, even when you think you have heard it all before.

Wow, it’s been a while since I have looked at that list and yet I am amazed at how those are all things I am still working on. Those are still my goals. But I have done a lot too. And I want to do more!

So what’s next?

This month, I’ll be joining my friend Carrie and several others from our area at the first meeting of the Louisville Vegetarian Club. I’m really excited to meet other like-minded folks and share our experiences, recipes, etc. I know it has only been 4 short months, but I am pretty certain that this is my way of living, for LIFE.

I also want to get my friends and family to try more animal-free/plant-based foods. While I know it’s highly unlikely I will never convince my husband to be vegetarian in any way, I still have control over what we get from the grocery store and I can help him reduce his intake of animal products, if he agrees to do so.

He already doesn’t eat red meat, which is awesome! And he tried macaroni & chreeze once before so I hope to introduce a few new things to him in the future. It’s taken me almost five years of marriage to learn all the foods he likes and dislikes (haha) so I should be able to make some thing he would at least try. I’ve got many ideas flowing through my head right now!

My family liked my vegan meatloaf at Christmas and even asked for the recipe! So I hope to keep things like this going. I need to be consistent.

I guess the point of saying all of this is that I love what the vegan diet has done for me, inside and out. So now I feel like it’s time to share it with others instead of just keeping it to myself all the time. So that will be my new goal for the time being. I’m also finding it sort of interesting how that sounds just like what I’m supposed to be doing as a Christian as well.

I’m also becoming more sensitive to the other issues surrounding this lifestyle: like animal cruelty, unhealthy farm practices, environmental impact, etc. I originally chose it for health reasons but there is so much more going on out there. It’s another goal of mine to continue to read, educate myself and be more aware!

Plus becoming part of a community of  fellow vegetarians and vegans is going to be so rewarding, I already know. Sort of like how finally plugging into a church made me feel right at home with my faith, I know this group will make me feel at home with this other aspect of my life.

New phone!

Hey guys, it’s official…I finally got a new phone 🙂

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On the left is my old slide phone with absolutely nothing to it except making phone calls and text messaging (which didn’t know half the words of the English language) and liked to turn itself off randomly.

On the right is my new Blackberry, woo hoo!

It was so worth waiting for. I can do so much more with this new phone, plus it’s my favorite color 😉

Anyway, let’s talk about food, shall we?

I had another Breakfast and Dinner day as far as pictures go.

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Pumpkin oats 🙂

Somehow snacks and lunch escaped. But that’s okay. For those of you interested in my fitness program, I had an awesome run yesterday too.

If it’s Wednesday, there must be wine!

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I could not find Cycles Gladiator on my nifty vegan alcohol website, but honestly, I did not care for it too much so I likely wouldn’t buy it myself.

It just didn’t have much flavor. Plus I’m more of a red girl.

For dinner, Margie made this DELICIOUS veggie soup which I am very proud to say she got the recipe from one of my favorite vegan blogs Cooking for a Vegan Lover!

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Croissants on the side, a la Aleta!

For dessert, we had the awesome vegan brownies.

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Another awesome girls night.

I have the main dish next week, so I’m going to have to start looking at recipes!

Do you have a regular girl’s night?

I highly recommend them 😉