Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Perfect Vegan Lunch...

...and cooking lentils.

I had lentils left over from making the Dal Palak a while ago, so I finally cooked some more! Lentils are super easy to cook. 1/2 cup lentils, 1 cup water... put in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and put on a lid to let lentils simmer. Can simmer 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how old or new your lentils are. I did about 20 minutes. When the lentils are tender and can be mashed with a fork, they are done. Make sure to check and stir occasionally so they don't stick to the bottom of your pan or overcook!

When they were done cooking I added random seasoning I had: salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and I also cooked and chopped up some broccoli and threw that in the mix. Finally, I poured a LITTLE bit of olive oil on it and stirred it all up.

First time I ate it I put it in a whole wheat pita pocket, and by gosh, it was so satisfying! I wasn't trying to make a vegan "burger" of any kind, but this meal definitely was fulfilling in the way that meat is fulfilling. It was warm, and kind of had the consistency of ground beef almost. It was a great discovery from just cooking whatever I had left in the cabinet. As you can see, I put about half in the fridge and had it the next day re-heated with some Triscuits! Very yum!

The Perfect Vegan Lunch (in my opinion)

This was just a super simple lunch I had today, but I just love it because it included so many wonderful fruits and vegetables combined in such yummy ways.

A few strawberries
1 Banana
Half an orange
A LITTLE bit of ice
A little bit of soy milk

Dried dates
Olive oil

Surprisingly to me, the dates and the avocado complemented each other so well!!

These things makes my tummy so happy. :)

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Odwalla Bars, Smoothie, and Books!

These are one of my new favorite treats, snacks, foods... Odwalla bars. I always buy them at work at Disney. They have tons of different kinds, flavors, varieties. I just tried the Strawberry Pomegranate one yesterday... yum! I bought three at work last night, because sometimes I can't find the ones I want. I seriously think backstage at Disneyland is going to run out of these because I buy and eat them all! I was first drawn to them because I saw the Super Protein one at work. It is a great boost for energy in the midst of a busy Disney day :) They are really chewy. Patrick didn't like em.

I know I am always saying, "This is the best (insert food here) that I have ever made!" But this was one of the best smoothies I have ever made. I guess it was smoothie/protein shake because it has Peanut Butter in it.

Soy Milk
Peanut Butter

Put in blender. Drink. Smile.

I got two new books today!

This Crazy Vegan Life by Christina Pirello
"In this manifesto and practical guide to being vegan and living healthfully, Pirello not only advocates the development of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment but also clearly demonstrates the impact of these choices on wellness. Beyond promoting the value of eating a whole, organic, plant-based diet, she takes on nutrition, fitness, health education, and emotional well-being, shaking up conventional wisdom and showing you how to take control of your life and achieve your personal goals."

I liked the looks of this one because it's not just a recipe book and it's not just a story, but it is both. And it has easy recipes and a whole 21 day nutrition plan with total meal guides!
I got it because I was running out of ideas and inspiration for eating well and being vegan. I still wanted to be vegan, I was just forgetting how, in a (satisfied) way. My plan is to read the first part of the book, which is about 110 pages, while I finish eating mostly all the groceries I already have to eat in the kitchen, then in the book the meal plans start, so I will plan ahead and shop accordingly so I can stick to the plans easily!

DailyOM: Learning to Live by Madisyn Taylor
"DailyOM featues a universal approach to holistic living for the mind, body, and spirit and supports people who want to live a conscious lifestyle."

I got this one to go along with my new dedication to my yoga practice, which in a way is an extension of my veganism, and all-around lifestyle and outlook. I have been going to yoga almost every day since I signed up at Soul at Home on April 1st. I absolutely love this place. All of the instructors are amazing and you can tell their yoga practice means so much to them. I have tried a few different types of classes, from Gentle Flow, to Level 1-2 Yoga, and all of the classes so far really make it so you can make it your own and make it work for yourself. The instructor I had today recommended DailyOM for me to read. On Sundays they even have Oceana Hula Dance classes!!! I am so going to go to that this Sunday!

Happy Eating! Namaste!

"A good definition of Namaste would be 'I bow to your true self'. The true self might be seen as the deeper, more essential you, less connected to ego, social expectations and pretensions. So the exchange of Namaste at the end of class is a wonderful way to honor the true self in each of us, and recognize that all life is interrelated." Namaste

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tutti Frutti Soy Frozen Yogurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So imagine back to this.... You are a child. You have never had ice cream. Someone gives your ice cream for the very first time. Obviously, you love it. You are so happy.

Today I got the wonderful amazingness of "ice cream" given back to me, in vegan form!!! Well not ice cream, but frozen yogurt. FroYo is very much a California thing. It is so much fun to go get FroYo with your friends or for a cute little date. Unfortunately, that wonderful pleasure had no longer been available to me since I went vegan...

But a few days ago Patrick told me he saw a sign in Tutti Frutti's window saying they now have vegan friendly Soy Frozen Yogurt!!!!!!!! I went and got some for the first time today. I topped it with strawberries. It is really really delicious! And 10% of all sales of their new soy froyo goes toward helping to feed the hungry in Afghanistan. And Tutti Frutti is right down the street from us!! So wonderful :)

Tutti Frutti has a really wonderful campaign/project going on right now with this whole soy bean, feeding Afghanistan, vegan frozen yogurt thing. For more info about it all, check out this site:

Just a little bit of info about the project from the site....

"Did you know that one ton of soybean seeds can yield up to 40 tons of consumable soy? This in return can provide up to 10,000 families of six with enough protein to last 3 harsh winter months! 
That's why NEI is working with local farmers to develop a soy bean seed industry within Afghanistan. Ensuring ready access to a reliable domestic source of soy bean seeds can help keep families fed. It could be the very answer to self-sustainability that they've been looking for."

The lady working at Tutti Frutti when I went today asked me if I liked the new soy frozen yogurt. I told her it is the best day of my life. lol. 

On a side note- I joined a yoga studio! I have gone almost every day since I joined, and it makes me so happy and healthy!! 

Happy Eating! Namaste!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Potluck (Abridged)

So I was going to have a much better blog post all about our St. Patrick's Day potluck, but I just had too many pictures and they take a while to upload, and also I can't seem to re-find the exact recipes that I used. So here is the succinct version of the St. Patrick's Day potluck blog post...

I made homemade whipped cream out of coconut cream for the vegan Banoffee Pie. Banoffee Pie is a traditional European pie that can barely be found in the US. Making a vegan version of it was quite the challenge! I have to thank the wonderful miss Loretta Goff for the inspiration to make Banoffee Pie!


The pie= graham cracker crust (it should be a crust made out of European butter biscuit cookies), a layer of bananas...

...a layer of homemade caramel. Did you know caramel is super easy to make? It is literally just heated up sugar! It's supposed to be Dulce de Leche for true Banoffee Pie, but this was my substitute.

Making the caramel: (LOW HEAT! Very easy to burn and ruin. Lots of sugar=little bit of caramel. Very sticky and hard to work with.)

...and finally, a layer of the homemade vegan whipped coconut cream! Put it in the refrigerator for a few hours, sprinkle with cinnamon, and voila! The longer it stays in the fridge the better it gets. It got better each day! I made two! Everyone LOVED it!

For my main course dish I made a vegan Irish vegetable stew with chick peas. Did you know, chick peas and garbanzo beans are the same thing? I promise it tasted better than this picture makes it look...

Patrick made a traditional Shepherd's Pie with steak and potatoes and cheese and veggies. (NOT VEGAN but that's okay, everyone loved it)

Then we also had an array of green things on our appetizer plate :)

It was a very fun evening! For recipes literally just google Irish vegan stew recipe, or shepherd's pie recipe. :)

Happy (Irish) Eating!