Friday, December 31, 2010

So this is (Christmas &) the New Year...

*Sigh* I just love the holidays. I've seen family and had a pretty good time this year. It was a good end to what has actually been the worst year of my life. I was in a serious car wreck in May that has left me with neck pain and back issues. My mother's health fluctuated between bad and worse. My grandfather died in July and I battled various health concerns the whole year. I really hope that 2011 has some better things in store for me and my loved ones.

Aurora opening her present of gourmet doggy treats ^_^

Over the Christmas break I've even gotten to rest some which I really needed due to my health issues + 2 jobs + being a full time student. I'm very blessed to be able to spend this time with my loved ones and get to eat lots of delicious food. And of course I'm also blessed because my boyfriend and family always spoil me with their gifts. Here's some of the highlights:
a vintage Disney Alice in Wonderland thermos from my boyfriend.
bento box set with Alice in Wonderland drawings by a Japanese artist, also from the BF

two Hello Kitty bento boxes with HK bento accessories from my mom

Babycakes cupcake maker from my grandma

Ninja blender and food processor from my mom

I'm so excited to try the bento and kitchen stuff out!
I'm actually working 4 p.m. until midnight on New Year's Eve which kind of sucks. My boyfriend is at home alone and I was supposed to go out to eat with my family, but my job got in the way of any celebrations. To cheer myself up, I've been thinking of some things I want to happen in the new year.
For my New Year's resolutions/intentions/wishes/hopes, I want to:
1. Utilize my bento boxes and accessories as well as the wonderful cookbooks I got for Christmas
2. Actually use the Ninja and Babycakes and not let them collect dust in the kitchen.
3. Be more considerate of those close to me. Usually I'm almost too considerate of others but the rough year I had made it to where I was in a daze and wasn't always aware of how I was acting or the feelings of others.
4. Graduate in May. I'm supposed to and only health problems stand in my way. If I can push through them, I graduate on time and can continue on with life.
5. Address my health issues more vigorously than I did this year. I had a hard time with everything that went on in my life so I wasn't able to focus on taking care of myself as well as I wish I could have.
6. Find a better doctor if mine continues to be a pain.
7. Be true to myself and not hide my feelings or pretend for the sake of others.
8. Stand up for myself.
9. Learn to relax! Take things in stride and not be such a worry wart!

I'll leave you with some pictures from our Christmas meal (yes, there is lots of meat in the picture. My mom and I are the only vegans in a family of wannabe carnivores).
I had roasted veggies, lentils, saffron rice, green beans, corn, and homemade dark dark dark chocolate vegan fudge for dessert =]

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Columbus trip

I recently went to Columbus, OH to finish my Christmas shopping. As I've said before, Columbus is only 2 hours from me and has a lot more to offer than my city. I went to Easton mall and got a lot accomplished but it was a grueling weekend of walking tons and shopping til I dropped. I ate at P.F. Chang's while I was at Easton (I always do when I visit) and was severely disappointed this time. I found out from my waitress that their tofu has wheat germ added to it. This makes very little sense to me and since the tofu is no longer gluten free, I couldn't partake in it. So instead I got the Buddha Bowl off of the GF menu which came to me as a big bowl of steamed broccoli. It had a couple mushrooms and carrots in it, but it was mostly broccoli. I love broccoli but I didn't want a whole bowl of it. I got the GF soy sauce on the side and dipped the veggies into it. The brown rice was also undercooked so it was kind of hard and chewy. It was a very bad experience.

I also ate at ZPizza. They have Daiya cheese and GF crust. I ordered mushrooms, zucchini, black olives, and artichokes as my toppings. This is what my pizza looked like:

You can't tell from the picture, but they didn't really cook the veggies and mushrooms. Despite this, the pizza was pretty good. The crust was better than expected. Not to bash ZPizza since I appreciate them offering Daiya and GF crust, but I have had a much better GF vegan pizza in Washington, D.C. at Pete's A Pizza. But Pete's doesn't have Daiya, they carry Teese which is my second favorite vegan cheese.

I went to Whole Foods to buy specialty foods because I only have a very tiny health food store where I live. Our store carries very little and consists of 3 aisles of food and some fridges. While at Whole Foods I looked (longingly) at their baked goods and came across these cupcakes, some of which were vegan but not GF:

So cute and festive!

I also visited a locally owned health food store, The Raisin Rack in Westerville, OH which is a suburb of Columbus. They have a food bar, salad bar, complete cafe menu, and smoothies. They had a lot of GF and vegan offerings so I had breakfast here before leaving to go back home. I got a really good tropical smoothie and the food bar.

No Columbus trip would be complete without a visit to Pattycake Bakery. I've mentioned them on here before because they are completely vegan and have GF offerings. I absolutely love them and so do my non-vegan friends and family! While there I picked up some of their Marry Me Blueberry Muffins (not GF) for family and my boyfriend. For myself I got a Buckeye Bar, Cranberry Almond cookie, and raw truffles. Delicious!

I'm really looking forward to Christmas. I get to see all of my family and my boyfriend is a wonderful gift giver. This is my favorite holiday and time of the year. I've already been watching Christmas movies that I love, such as The Year Without Santa Claus. I'm a sucker for claymation =]

Monday, November 29, 2010

Candida, stuffed peppers

I have been ill for what seems like a very long time. Last summer (2009) I developed severe stomach and digestive issues. I had problems before then but it seemed that they worsened drastically at this time. I thought I had the flu at first even though it was the middle of the summer. But after one week went by...then two...then four...I figured that maybe something more serious was wrong. I started seeing doctors about it and was diagnosed with epstein-barr and chronic fatigue syndrome in October when I was so ill that I could no longer attend class or get out of bed. I ended up getting a medical incomplete for my semester (luckily!) and was able to finish my work and continue on with my education. The b12 shots for the epstein-barr didn't help me the least little bit. I was disappointed because the doctors said there was nothing else to do except rest and get the shots. I discontinued them because I felt they were a waste of time.
My digestive issues continued on during all of this and I had multiple doctors tell me it was just stress or IBS. I started seeing another doctor (of alternative as well as traditional medicine) and he took over control of my thyroid medication (I found out I am hypothyroid 4 years ago and have been on medication since as well as completely overhauling my diet and exercise programs) and testing for digestive problems. He found that I'm allergic to gluten and have a problem with candida overgrowth. He has raised my thyroid medication to my dismay and the anti-candida diet is incredibly hard to stick to. My thyroid levels are good and I don't have extra weight on me (I lost the weight I had gained initially due to the condition within 4 months of discovering I had it).
But I still feel awful most of the time. I'm troubled by sugar cravings, fatigue, depression, and many digestive complaints. Gluten complicates these issues but I am still not 100% cured by removing it from my diet. I cannot currently follow the anti-candida diet (due to other health issues I'm not discussing yet) and I feel that this is keeping me sick. I'm trying to at least cut back on any added sugar (I usually only consume agave or brown rice syrup anyway), fruit juice, and dried fruits until I am able to fully attempt the anti-candida diet. This is going to be difficult with the holidays and my mother not understanding candida, but I'm giving it a shot. I will still post goodies on here though =]
Sorry to seem like I'm whining, I just wanted to give a look at where I'm at in my journey towards health. I know I have made amazing strides, but I still have a lot of work to do and it's difficult because of the area I'm in and my alternative doctor can be a bad listener at times.

On a brighter note, I have a recipe for stuffed peppers! I apologize because I don't have exact measurements, but it's simple to figure out I swear!

Brown rice, cooked
Whole bell peppers (I used 4)
Tomato or marinara sauce
Black, kidney, or pinto beans (canned or already cooked)
Spices (cumin, southwest, red pepper, salt)
Veggies of your choice
Cut the tops off of the peppers and stuff them with the rice, beans, and veggies. Place in baking dish and cover with sauce and olives. Bake in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes, checking often.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spicy Coconut Rice with Tempeh, Spicy PB &Co.

When I was out of town on a trip last weekend, I found a flavor from Peanut Butter & Co. that I hadn't tried yet:

This PB is far from traditional like their flavors tend to be, but this flavor was even more out there. They suggest that you use it on veggies since it has things like cayenne pepper in it. So after having it in my cabinet for a week, I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it. I wanted it in my coconut rice. I like my coconut rice sweet and spicy which I know makes it different from normal coconut rice, but that's how I prefer it. This is the recipe I came up with and my partner used it to make the dish for me...

1 C brown rice
1/2 C light coconut milk
1 tbsp peanut butter (you can use the spicy PB if you have it or the urge hits you)
1 tsp stevia/sugar/sweetener of your choice
1/4 onion, chopped
Frozen veggies (I used cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, peas)
1/3 pkg tempeh
southwest seasoning (omit or replace if you don't have this)
salt, pepper
oil or spray for pan

In a saucepan, heat oil and onion until it is translucent. Add frozen veggies and let those start to thaw. In a pan, heat some more oil and add the tempeh cut however you like it (I like mine in bite size pieces). Add the listed spices to the tempeh as it cooks. Now add the coconut milk and PB in the saucepan with the veggies. After getting the PB melted and mixed add the rice and listed spices as well as the sweetener if you are using it. Once everything is done, combine the tempeh and the rice with veggies in a bowl and enjoy! This made 2 servings for me but it makes 1 big serving if you are really hungry.

This is an awful picture just like all of my rice bowl pictures (and all food pics, for that matter) tend to be. But I swear it was really yummy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More animals! And Thai food

I'd like to introduce you to the rest of my beloved animal family =]




So I live with three medium/large dogs. Akuma is very attached to my partner, Aurora is very attached to me, and Odin is equally attached to both of us (and anyone who will pet him...) Needless to say, it gets pretty insane around here. But I love them <3 and they all love Kitty so it's all good!

I also ate at a Thai restaurant that recently opened in my city. I say city but really it's more like a town. I live in Huntington, WV. If you've heard of it it's only because of the We Are Marshall movie with Matthew McConaughey, it sort of put us on the map. But even with a major motion picture about my town and the university in it, our finest dining still tends to be the Olive Garden. Vegetarians have a rough time at restaurants and with the locals, much less a vegan who is allergic to gluten. I have to worry about cross contamination but since I don't live near anything resembling a vegan restaurant or gluten free raw places, I'll take what I can get. But the Thai place is exciting, new, and nice. And it has tofu! Like I've said, if it's a special occasion like I'm eating out, I'll get tofu especially if that's my only option like it is at the local Asian places. I got the Panang curry tofu with vegetables and panang rice. It was really good curry and the rice was super delicious and different. Annnnnd yes that's a bite I'd already taken out of the rice ^_^

And just for some awwww factor, here's a picture of my baby cousin and her happy face fried rice:

Sunday, November 14, 2010


What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?
Caesar salad. I ate it every week before going vegan.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?
Brussels sprouts

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?
Seitan. Now that I have to be gluten free, I don't feel so bad about it but I hated it long before that.

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?
No raisins in savory dishes. Seriously people are always doing that. And I love raisins, I eat them straight. But not in my stuffed peppers.

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?
Hummus or dark chocolate

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?
Mac n cheese

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?
Dark Chocolate, almond butter

Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?
I'm a big snacker. Rice cakes with nut butter or apple butter, hummus and carrot sticks, popcorn.

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?
Tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, olives, banana peppers, onions

What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?
Peas, any type of berry

What is the best salad dressing?
I put hummus on my salads most of the time

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?
Apple butter with tahini or almond butter

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
I'm partial to chocolate anything

What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Oatmeal raisin, pb chocolate chip

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?
rice veggies & tempeh or beans

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
No one in my household is vegan and therefore they won't eat anything that I do. Except for the cookies

How long, in total, do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
1 hour

How many fingers am I holding up?

What kind of things are you doing for VeganMofo?
Reading lots of blogs

Cabbage rolls, a recipe from another blogger

I'm feeling a little bit better now as I've been trying to drink my fluids. I still haven't had a huge appetite but I'm still eating of course. I made cabbage rolls and a special treat from another blogger, Averie's No Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls with High Protein option

For the cabbage roll filling I used brown rice, tofu, and mushrooms seasoned with basil, onion, and garlic. I put tomato sauce on top of the rolls with some green olives. Delicious! You can make them in the crock pot or oven and it's very simple.

For Averie's "cookie dough" balls I did use the high protein option because my protein intake hasn't been what it should be since I came down with the flu. Her recipe seriously tastes like cookie dough, it's seriously addictive and delicious.

Sorry that I don't have any pictures but cabbage rolls are ugly and I couldn't get a good picture of the balls.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I wanted to do a post about my companion cat, Kitty. I know MoFo is about food but veganism is about the animals for me so I wanted to do a tribute to him. Kitty is the love of my life. I found him in the middle of the road when he was about 3 weeks old. He was so tiny! He had upper respiratory infection which had turned into pneumonia. The poor thing had lost one of his eyes to the infection and the other one wasn't looking so good. I took him to the vet to get medicine of course and then brought him home to be babied beyond belief. I stayed up all night with him as he cried and meowed because of his discomfort. I cleaned his eyes constantly and cried with him because i felt so bad for the poor thing. The vet told me he might not live so I didn't want to get too attached to him. Getting attached was unavoidable but I called him Kitty instead of giving him an official name. Well, Kitty lived and I was able to save his other eye. He's been with me for a year and a half now and is thriving. He's the most wonderful cat I have ever met. He thinks he's a dog and follows me around like I'm his momma. I did name him, Agent Jack Bauer because he's invincible, but he only answers to Kitty. So I still call him Kitty because it's the name he knows and likes. He always makes me smile and feel loved. I don't know what I would do without him!

This is Kitty when I first found him
giving me kisses

cuddled up trying to get better

And this is Kitty now:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beans & rice, No Bake Cookies

Hey! I have been unable to post because I've had some health issues arise. I came down with what I think was the flu on Tuesday and became dehydrated because of it. When I went to the doctor yesterday, my blood pressure was so low that they couldn't get a reading on it. They determined it was because of the dehydration and told me I either had to drink a ridiculous amount of gatorade and/or water or they could put me in the hospital with an IV. I chose to go home and try to drink a bunch because I dislike hospitals. I've been constantly drinking water so hopefully I'm on my way to being hydrated =]
I hadn't eaten very much either due to not feeling well but last night I made myself a big bowl of brown rice, black beans, corn, peas, broccoli, carrots, and peppers topped with chipotle Parma. Yum!

I also asked my mom to make me her wonderful vegan no bake cookies. They are delicious! So delicious that I wasn't able to keep them long enough over the weekend to get a picture. Keep them in the fridge so they don't go bad of course. The refrigeration makes them fudgy!
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup almond or other nondairy milk
1/8 cup vegan butter, melted
2 tbsp cocoa
3 cups rolled oats
3 dates finely chopped
Combine in a bowl and mix well. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet and chill.

So simple and easy to make!

Monday, November 8, 2010


1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Unsweetened chocolate almond milk by Almond Breeze.

2. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I tried to replicate this amazing coconut curry soup that I had at an Asian restaurant in Alexandria, VA. It was awful.

3. Favorite pickled item?


4. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Dark chocolate, brown rice, tempeh

5. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

Being at my great grandmother's house and my grandfather's cabin which are both in the woods of WV. My great grandmother always let me help her in the kitchen (making food I would never touch now) but it gave me a lot of good times with her while she was here. We also would have holiday meals at my papas cabin and all the family would be there.

6. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bliss. It has 5 ingredients, is free of soy, and made with agave. Yummmm. I warn you that you can taste the coconut milk in it so avoid if you don't like coconut.

7. Most loved kitchen appliance?

Aroma rice cooker and steamer

8. Spice/herb you would die without?

That's a tough choice between cumin and garlic

9. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
You can't beat homemade apple butter, in my opinion

10. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Oatmeal raisin cookies

11. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

Tempeh, for sure

12. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

My favorite time of day to cook is afternoon. I can take my time and I'm not starving and impatient like I am at breakfast.

13. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bliss (calling my name), frozen veggies, frozen fruit

14. What’s on your grocery list?

Beans are always a must have, tempeh, almond milk, produce

15. Favorite grocery store?

Elwood Thompson. I wish I had one near me.

16. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

Chicken/tuna salad. There's so many recipes out there I need to just go ahead and do it. I posted the tempeh salad wraps from Little House of Veggies and it's tempting but I've held off mostly because I've never tried vegenaise and I'm afraid of it haha. Maybe I need a recipe that doesn't use it or uses very little

17. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?

Love Veggies and Yoga
Vegan MoFo (now that it's happening)
Just Bento (not vegan but I love bento and they have a lot of vegan ones or easily veganized recipes)

18. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

I like a lot of different ones I've tried but my staple chocolate bar is Endangered Species dark chocolate with almonds & cranberries

19. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Raw almonds

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm so lazy today

I worked all morning and half of the evening and I have another paper to write. I haven't been doing much cooking for three days since I need o be able to just throw something quick together and go due to work. That will change soon and I'll be posting some food. So I'm going to do a post about vegan things that I love =]

Pattycake Bakery in Columbus, OH is awesome. Not only are they completely vegan but they also have gluten free and raw options! I live about 2 hours outside of Columbus (in WV) so I get to go there every couple of months for shopping and food that is unavailable in my state. Another awesome thing is that you can order online from them, even though they can only ship a limited number of their gluten free options and none of the raw ones. I recently ordered two cookies online, the ginger spice and cranberry almond. Both were soft and delicious and didn't taste gluten free!

Chipotle Cayenne Parma. If you haven't tried this raw cheesy topping made from nuts, nutritional yeast, and perfect spice blends then you need to go buy some now! The other flavors are good but the chipotle is phenomenal.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir in strawberry. Gluten free, vegan, and 10 active cultures. The chocolate is good as well but only if you like the sour chocolate cheesecake-esque flavor. If not, stick to the strawberry. It goes down smooth and delicious.

Daiya. Duh.

This next thing is delicious, but it's terrible for you. I've eaten this once since it came out and it will be a long time before I do again because as much as I love amazing vegan and gluten free things, I also love being healthy. I also ate this in two sittings, not one. It really is that rich! I'm talking about Amy's Vegan Rice Macaroni & Cheeze. This is made with Daiya and it is killer. Of course, you can always whip up your own healthy version of gluten free mac with Daiya but if you want a treat, then grab this meal.

Once again, this is something I get very rarely but I do love. It's Zen Soy Vegan Pudding Cups. I try to avoid soy as much as possible and only eat soy products once or twice a week because I have hypothyroid. And when I do eat soy I stick with tempeh unless I'm eating out and tofu is my only option. I'm not hating on soy, I absolutely love it, but it's better for my health if I don't eat it every day. Get these in the Chocolate or Chocolate Vanilla Swirl. I find the other two to be not as good, but I'm a chocolate lover.

All the products I mentioned are also gluten free, of course =] Let me know if you have tried these products and love them/think I'm crazy because they're nasty or whatever!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gluten Free Vegan Halloween cookies

I was pretty bummed on Halloween this year because normally I dress up and go all out for the holiday, but I stayed in this year and didn't get a costume. To avoid being completely depressed by this I decided to make and decorate some Halloween cookies =] I used Bob's Red Mill GF shortbread cookie mix, Halloween cookie cutters, Cherrybrook Kitchen's allergen free vanilla frosting, colored piping gel, Stretch Island fruit leather, and organic 65% cacao chocolate chips.
I added egg replacer, almond milk, earth balance butter, and applesauce (to replace a portion of the huge amount of butter the mix called for). The cookies turned out pretty well and cooked very quickly. The majority of my time was spent on decorating the cookies which took a good 30 minutes! And my decorating skills are very amateur as you can see:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gluten Free Vegan "Stuffing"/Lentil Veggie Loaf

I came up with a recipe for my mom to make me a veggie loaf cause I'd really been craving one. It's a lentil based loaf and I thought it would be a lot like a normal veggie loaf. Well, it wasn't. It was way better! Even though it wasn't exactly like a typical veggie loaf, it tasted just like Thanksgiving stuffing! As I ate it I decided it would be perfect as a gluten free substitute for stuffing.

It doesn't stick together well once you start dipping it out of the pan. It's a little crumbly but not too bad. You can always add more binder if you want it to stick together better.

GF Stuffing/Veggie Loaf
1/2 C cashews
1 onion, Diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 celery ribs, diced
1 C mushrooms, chopped
2 C cooked lentils (any variety, I used brown)
1 C cooked brown rice
1/4 C vegetable broth
1/2 C cooked oatmeal
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp tamari or Bragg's liquid aminos

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray (you can also use a loaf pan but I think the baking pan makes for a more crispy stuffing like texture).
Grind cashews in a food processor. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Saute the garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and mushroom. Add to the bowl as well as the remaining ingredients. Mix together well, adding only as much broth as you need to create a moist loaf that holds together.
Press mixture into your pan and bake for 45 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Mom made mine in a heart shaped baking pan. Awww =]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Farm Sanctuary Petition

I'm excited for MoFo to start. I already have some posts lined up that I'm saving for November. I wanted to mention the petition that Farm Sanctuary is having to convince President Obama to send his pardoned turkeys to them instead of Disney. I was previously unaware that the President pardons two turkeys every Thanksgiving and sends them to live at Disney. I'm not sure why they go to live at Disney theme parks, but I hope that Farm Sanctuary's petition is effective! Farm Sanctuary has to have all 15,000 signatures by November 15th. Please go sign the petition and read about how you can help the pardoned turkeys avoid being Disney attractions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A few things I've had on my mind

I absolutely hate seitan. I know this is blasphemy to most vegans but I absolutely cannot stand it. I can't eat it now because of the gluten but even before I was aware that gluten bothered me I hated it. On the other hand, I love tempeh. I adore it, for real. I love tofu too but I try not to eat it as it isn't fermented like tempeh and it sometimes gives me stomach issues. I also have to limit my soy intake because of my hypothyroid, so when I eat soy I make it worthwhile.

I love almond milk. It's just so creamy and delicious. Because of it, I don't miss soy milk. I gave up the soy milk because of my thyroid and only drink it rarely if I'm at a vegan gathering or a friend's house. If you haven't tried it, you should. Yummmm almond milk =]

I'm participating in Vegan Mofo! Hopefully I'll have time to post as much as I would like. I don't think I'm gonna have a theme or anything other than trying to whip up some good food and take pictures.

The past couple of days haven't been good food days for me. I've felt under the weather and I've been swamped with school work. I also had some naughty cravings for Asian food. Oh how I love it. I live in a very small place but we somehow have good options for vegan Asian food. I hadn't been eating very much because of feeling bad so I felt like I deserved a treat. I got miso soup to soothe my throat and Thai yellow curry with tofu. It of course came with white rice and potatoes, which I ate, but I added peas, broccoli, and cauliflower once I got it home. I tried to make it a little bit healthier! It was delicious.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mac un' cheesy

I love love love mac n cheese...I loved my mom's homemade dish with pasta shells before I was vegan and since switching my diet I've searched for the perfect vegan version. Even though I haven't been able to recreate my mom's mac n cheese, I have figured out a super easy and quick spicy dish with peas and tempeh. If you don't ike peas or don't have tempeh, you can always just make the cheese sauce and noodles. Avoid this dish if you don't like nutritional yeast as it uses quite a bit. I call it mac un' cheesy =]

1 cup gluten free or regular pasta
1/2 c frozen peas
1 tbsp earth balance or smart balance light vegan butter
3 tbsp non dairy milk
1/4-1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/3 8 oz pkg soy tempeh cut into bite size pieces
Vegan parmesan topping (I use chipotle Parma! but you can use the one of your choice it will just make the dish less spicy)
1 tsp tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg's liquid aminos
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to directions. While that's cooking, thaw the peas in the microwave. Start cooking the tempeh in a pan with the soy sauce of your choice. Once it starts browning, add in the cayenne pepper and turmeric. Once that's done, set aside. In the bowl that you will be eating out of, melt the butter (I use the microwave). Add in the non dairy milk to the bowl and warm both the butter and milk in the microwave (10 seconds should do it). Add salt to taste and the nutritional yeast. Stir well and add the nooch until you get your desired consistency. I usually add 1/2 c nooch to my butter milk mix because I like my cheese sauce thicker. Once you have your desired consistency, drain the pasta noodles and add them to the cheese sauce. Add the peas to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Now add the tempeh on top and sprinkle your parmesan. Voila! Mac un' cheesy!

This is how mine looks. It's ugly but soooo delicious!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Kind Diet

Yesterday I picked up a copy of Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet". I wasn't expecting it to be really great or anything but I had heard it had some good recipes. The book surprised me. I've been a vegan for years as well as a health freak so there's not much she could tell me about how healthy being a vegan is. I still enjoyed reading the beginning of the book that detailed why animal products are bad for our health, the environment, and the well being of our animal friends. It's always nice to get a reminder of why I live the way that I do (as if Kitty ^above^ isn't enough of a reminder!). Alicia gives plain old vegan meal plans and recipes as well as healthier, macrobiotic superhero ones. The recipes look pretty good and I'm even going to be trying some of the superhero dishes (I love miso soup and she has a killer one).
I decided to make the Caesar dressing from her Caesar salad recipe on page 175. Since I don't have permission, I won't be publishing the recipe here. I did change a couple things in the recipe. I'm allergic to gluten so I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos instead of shoyu. I also swapped raw almonds in for the roasted almonds the recipe called for. No croutons for me due t the fact that I have yet to find a gluten free bread I can stand. The dressing was delicious! I ate it on:
Romaine hearts
I know that sounds like a skimpy, bland salad but I knew the dressing was going to be very strong and I wanted it to shine through on simple veggies.
As my main dish, I made brown rice and ate it topped with leftover homemade veggie chili, nutritional yeast, chipotle Parma, fresh cilantro, and avocado.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Opinions, anyone?

I know that not many people read my blog, but hopefully as I follow more people and post more people will catch on a bit. I am in need of some guidance. I'm hoping to talk to a couple people who have gone through the diagnosis of gluten allergy and/or Celiac disease. One doctor says I should wait and see how I react to gluten in a year after being on the gluten free diet. Then if I have a reaction, I should get tested for Celiac. My other doctor says no get tested right now. He has a good point because if I get tested now I don't have to wait and then eat gluten for anywhere from 1 to 3 months for it to show up on the test.
I've already gone gluten free, do I really want to go back?

But I will for the sake of knowing whether I have an allergy or a debilitating disease. I went through at least a year of excruciating stomach problems (plus a plethora of others) for a doctor to have the sense to test me for food allergies. Am I going to have to wade through the crap again? Is it going to take a long time for me to know exactly what's wrong with me? I'm allergic to all forms of gluten, there's no doubt about that. I feel a million times better now that I've cut it out from my diet.
I'm also struggling because I've heard from reputable doctors that the Celiac test isn't always reliable. The blood test isn't a big deal but I don't want to go through a biopsy and have no idea whether or not the verdict they give me is correct. It's like flipping a coin for my health. And that's not something I mess around with.
I'm confused right now so I'm going to bide my time and ask people with experience what their opinion is. I like getting lots of opinions and then deciding based off of the experiences of others and what is in my best interest.
I'll appreciate the feedback, no matter what the opinion is!

Oh my busy life...

I've been super busy not to mention very ill for months. I finally found a doctor (who is also a holistic practitioner) who was able to figure out what's wrong with me. I am allergic to gluten (which was in half the food I was eating) and I have to be tested for celiac disease. I also have candida and had to go on the detox to get rid of it. No fruit or grains killed me! I was very tired the whole time I was on the detox. I am now off of it thankfully! I was dying for a smoothie =]
I also (obviously) had to start being on a gluten free diet. I'm crushed because I'm a bread and pasta lover. The gf diet is hard enough but when you add being vegan on top of that combined with where I live (WV which might as well be called the hunting state), you get something that seems nearly impossible. Unless you like living on only veggies and, quite frankly, I don't. Don't get me wrong, I eat tons of fruit and veggies every day but I also like other things too. After grieving over my loss of wheat breads and pastas, I got over it and realized this was not only going to cure my stomach ills but also make me healthier! I'm not as disappointed anymore.
I'm going to Cleveland, OH this weekend and I'm going to go to my first ever raw restaurant! I will definitely post pictures and talk about the restaurant when I get back. I'm going for a mewithoutYou show but the Whole Foods Market and raw restaurant are definitely pluses! There isn't a single Whole Foods or Trader Joe's in WV. We are a truly deprived state.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Raw tahini dressing, Yum!

This is super simple and uses one of my favorite things around, tahini!
Blend together:
1 tbsp raw tahini
1/2 lemon juiced
1 garlic clove chopped
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

Voila! Add to salads, veggies, or couscous (I added it to couscous with veggies and it gave the dish real kick).