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02

Jul

I've Moved! Click Here for My New Blog!

This is going to be fun. I’m now on Blogspot, enjoy everything Debbieniful!

16

Jun

Changes Coming Soon

I’ve always wanted to change my blog and make it bigger and better! I want it to include more of my personal style and daily life and not just food. I’m a vegan with many layers (like an artichoke…or a delicious 7 layer vegan dip)  so I want to share those with the world. I’m excited for the changes. I might move to a new platform completely, still working on an idea board. I just feel that stylistically this layout is not what I want my blog to look like. I was really inspired by the purelytwins decision to revamp their blog because of how they have changed since starting. When I started sharing my little adventures, I wasn’t even vegan, My second post was about greek yogurt…I subsequently deleted that and have gotten more into cooking and shared those stories. Sometimes after cooking up a storm in the kitchen I do not have the time to post or more likely I was cooking spontaneously and don’t have measurements for a recipe, so I want to create something that goes beyond food.

In the mean time feel free to read my features on One Green Planet, an amazing online eco-vegan living guide to making conscious decisions!

01

Jun

Chocolate Protein Pudding for Breakfast!

Haha soooo this was supposed to be a pancake recipe but when I poured the batter into the skillet, the gooey-ness prevented the middle from cooking, while the outside got a thin crust that stuck to the pan. Oh well, I decided to just try the batter alone and realized it was pretty delicious!

Debbie’s Chocolate Protein Pudding

Tools: food processer

1 banana (sliced)

1 pack silken tofu (mine was 12 oz)

1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (or unflavored/vanilla powder +2 tbsp cocoa powder)

3 tbsp flaxseed meal

1/4 cup almond milk

1 packet stevia (you could add more of your sweetener of choice, like agave, because my protein powder was lightly sweetened)

Put all ingredients in food processor and go! This makes several servings, I eat mine in a small bowl so it will last me 4 days maybe. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Optional toppings: a few chocolate chips, slivered almonds, whatever floats your boat!

Other variations: add some melted chocolate chips into the mixture for an extra chocolate kick.

Enjoy!

31

May

Vegan Buttermilk Flaxseed Pancakes

I’ve been working on this recipe for a while! And finally I’m excited to introduce these deliciously low cal pancakes. I honestly hadn’t had pancakes in maybe a year, never sought them out once I went vegan in the way every vegan searches high and low for the perfect vegan pizza or cupcake. But then I found this quick 5 minute vegan pancake recipe and decided to tweek it (a lot) because the amount of baking powder it called for had enough sodium for days! I also worked on reducing the calories by getting rid of the vegetable oil and reducing total carbs while increasing the fiber content and nutritional value by replacing some of the flour with flaxseed meal. The last big change was making these buttermilk pancakes! Buttermilk is really easy to make and adds a unique flavor to these awesome pancakes. I topped mine with homemade raspberry sauce and Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s!! Way better than traditional maple syrup since it melts on the warm pancakes.

Debbie’s Vegan Buttermilk Flaxseed Pancakes

Tools: frying pan, cooking spray, spatula 

1/2 cup almond milk (or try coconut for something richer!)

1 tbsp cider vinegar (or regular distilled)

1/2 cup minus 2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp flax meal

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/16 tsp salt

In a small bowl mix the almond milk and vinegar to make the buttermilk. Let sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix together all the dry ingredients in a separate container. Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth with no lumps. Heat and spray your pan and when ready pour the batter in for 3 medium pancakes, or 2 big ones. The trick I was always taught is that when you start to see bubbles in the batter the pancakes are ready to flip! That’s pretty much it, now you have a low calorie, filling breakfast (or lunch… or dinner) with protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Nutrition Details: 284 calories, 6.5g fat (0.1 saturated), 51.8g carbs (5.8g fiber,  7.3g sugar), 8.3g protein

16

Apr

Use Your Resources

I cook….a lot. My friends are always saying “you’re always making such delicious food” mostly because it’s so crazy to them that I can get this creative in an average kitchen with only vegan ingredients. I challenge myself to use my resources and take whatever is in my kitchen to make a kick-ass meal! This is probably how I come up with my favorite meals and find the best recipes. I ask myself “what can I make?” when I realize I have too much of a certain ingredient I know will spoil soon or when I just need to add a little more nooch to my life. Google has become my best friend and it’s that exploration that has made being vegan so much fun.

It all started when I realized I had too many ripe avocados. So I made Avocado Chocolate Muffins and Avocado Froyo!

Avocado Frozen Yogurt with an Avocado Chocolate Muffin

Then I had a serious chocolate craving and a can of black beans that was wasting space in the pantry. And that is when I discovered these Black Bean Brownie Bites, just 100 cals each! 

Black Bean Brownie Bites

Then I always want to add nooch to anything I can for its amazing nutritional benefits. So I took some raw almonds and made this amazing Raw Sweet and Tangy Chikn Salad with 2 tablespoons of nooch added to the ingredients…

…and Eggless Egg Salad (UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!)

Last, but not least. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of (quickly spoiling) strawberries packed into the container my mom bought at Costco so I found a great recipe for Strawberry Bread (like Zucchini or Banana bread).

Strawberry Bread

So go explore, the internet is a hotbed for new ideas! I never thought I would enjoy a mock chicken made entirely of almonds or ice cream a la avocado. But it’s that endless appetite (haha) for something new that keeps veganism from being restrictive or boring. 

Are your eyes still hungry? Click here for the rest of my vegan cooking. I post the majority of my pictures on Facebook so that my friends can see how exciting my life is as a vegan foodie ;)

26

Mar

Anonymous asked: Hi do you enjoy using Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan products? I love their cheeses (esp their cream cheese and shreads) and wish I saw more recipes for them!!

Hi! Thank you for the question. I love making grilled cheese with Galaxy’s vegan cheese. Take a nice hearty bread like rye or ezekiel and “butter” the outsides with Earth Balance or another vegan buttery spread so that the sandwich toasts well in the pan. I add sliced tomatoes and red onions to the middle of my grilled cheese. Try adding your favorites too (fake bacon, mushrooms, or even jalapeños of you like things spicy).  Chocolate Covered Katie has an amazing Cream Cheese Frosting recipe that incorporate vegan cream cheese. I’m looking forward to trying it, here’s the link! Galaxy products are OK, I wish they distributed their vegan line as widely as the did their lactose free line. I’ve grown to love Daiya and Follow Your Heart brand once I got over cheese withdrawal and forgot what the real stuff tasted like, but Galaxy seems to be the only brand I can find is regular grocery stores so I’m glad that it’s around when I can’t make it to my favorite organic market.

27

Feb

Big City Vegan products on Zazzle

What’s pink and green and vegan all over? I want all of these things lol!

19

Feb

Original Recipe: Peanut Cashew Pie Crust

I’ve made Chocolate Covered Katie’s (CCK) Chocolate Fudge Pie twice now. The first time I had a graham cracker crust that I needed to put to use but the second time I craved this chocolaty treat I improvised and made my own crust. I’m glad I did because the ingredients in the pre-made crust scared me a little, there were a few octo-syllabic ones that were probably chemicals. It was an experiment that definitely paid off; my mom has been talking about the pie ever since! CCK does not like pie crust, her recipe is really for chocolate mousse but she put it in a pie filling for her pictures. I, on the other hand, LOVE pie crust, it’s always such a nice crunchy/salty addition to smoother/sweeter fillings of most pies. I got to work thinking of ratios for the ingredients and what I wanted the crust to taste like, resulting in my Peanut Cashew Pie crust, the perfect combo for chocolate. I would recommend this crust with sweet pies that require a precooked crust because I only baked the crust for a few minutes and I cannot vouch for the outcome if it were baked longer with a filling (also peanuts take on a burnt smell so quickly, even when they aren’t burnt). The crust might work a little better without the peanut butter for other recipes, that addition was really just to accompany the chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Mousse Pie

Debbie’s Peanut Cashew Pie Crust

Tools: oven, food processor, spatula, pie tin

1/2 C Flour of Choice (I use unbleached)

2/3 C Raw Cashews

1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal

1 Tbsp Sugar

4 Tbsp Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance)

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter (I use chunky)

1 Tbsp Nondairy Milk (I use almond milk)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Combine flour, cashews, flaxseed meal, and sugar in food processor. Blend until ingredients are fine with no chunks. Add vegan butter and peanut butter to dry mix and pulse until incorporated. I turned the processor off a few times and used a spatula to help things along since the goal is to creates a solid mass. Finally, add the nondairy milk since ingredients will be dry. Turn off the processor and use spatula to ensure the mass of dough is balled up. With clean hands, take the dough mass and press and spread it into the pie tin so that it is in an even layer and covers the entire tin, including the sides . You could probably use a rolling pin and roll out the dough on a clean surface (or plastic wrap), then carefully flip it onto the pie tin, but seriously… that’s a lot of nonsense that can be avoided. Put the crust in the oven for 5-8 minutes, remove and let cool for ten minutes before adding your delicious filling. My crust continued cooling in the fridge in order for the chocolate filling to set so the cooling time can vary based on your needs!

03

Feb

Health and Vanity

I want to highlight this great article from Choosing Raw regarding two images floating around the internet juxtaposing Jillian McKeith (a nutritionist that promotes a healthy, mostly plant based, but not specifically vegan diets) with Nigella Lawson (a chef with a passion for all types of food, including some very rich-looking desserts). I searched some images of Lawson and she does not always look as young as the aformentioned images indicate. Choosing Raw makes a great point in noting that the contrasting image of the two women “is not making claims about how healthy these women are, but rather making statements about who is better and younger looking.” Though incredibly beautiful, make up and “perks” (cosmetic procedures) of the entertainment industry might have been on the Chef Lawson’s side. Additionally, all looks aside, I love the gusto and energy Jillian McKeith puts forward when helping her clients reclaim their lives and health. The fact that some people believe the propaganda put forth in this image demonstrates how much we still hold vanity higher than the importance of internal health.

30

Jan

New Favorites

Yesterday at Shoppers I scanned the aisles looking for new vegan options next to the regular versions of products such as cheese and dairy. This is always my tactic when I’m not in a natural food store. I go through the aisles thinking about what I need and what foods I consider a staple in my diet. This gives me the opportunity to learn what options I have when I am in a new store, and even though it iist never as exciting as walking into a MOM’s or Whole Foods, each store carries different options and I found some new products to take on a test drive. 

The first product I want to highlight is Galaxy Vegan American Slices. I have seen this brand around but every product so far had casein in it and therefore was not vegan, just lactose free. So I was very happy to find their line of vegan cheese slices. I made a grilled cheese with onion and tomato on Ezekiel bread. I thought it was pretty delicious and mimicked the taste and characteristics of cheese well, including its melting abilities. To be honest I still prefer Daiya cheese since it is soy free and there is endless debate surrounding soy’s effects on the endocrine system. Because of the controversy, I save my soy intake for meals where soy dominates the market, i.e. anything with tofu or fake meats, especially when I go out.

On the subject of avoiding soy, one action I took to reduce my soy intake months ago was switching to almond milk. I enjoy the taste so much, I will never go back to soy milk as the staple for my fridge. But yesterday as I went to the dairy aisle I was presented with a case full of different Almond Breeze varieties including Unsweetened Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend. That combination sounded too novel to ignore and after comparing the nutrition labels to regular Unsweetened Breeze Almondmilk I was excited to try it! It is so delicious and creamy and only 45 calories a cup, five more than regular Almond Breeze, plus calcium and Vitamins E and D. I think the coconut really adds another component and make everything seem so luscious, even if it is just milk and not some sort of decadent dessert. I love making it just that decadent by warming a cup of the milk then adding a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and a stevia packet or teaspoon of sugar. This morning I put it in my oatmeal but that will take a little getting used to because the coconut flavor overpowered the meal. I think if I was eating a cereal that was not as mild as oatmeal, such as plain shredded wheat or anything flavored, it would be a suitable accompaniment. I also think it will be the perfect non-dairy milk for baking since it has such a rich taste.

I wonder what my next dessert will be considering that the only sweet I desire is banana slices with a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter, a few chocolate chips, and a handful of blueberries on the side. Have my taste buds completely changed on me and conquered my sweet tooth perhaps? I almost made a single serving cupcake or cookie but the fruit really hit the spot. Nonetheless tomorrow my goal is to experiment a little and make a homemade cashew crust so I can complete this chocolate mousse pie. Results to follow soon!

Happy Eating!