Tons of Vegan Goodness

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Green Smoothie

Another New Years goal for 2010 is to start many of my days off right, with fruit and raw foods for breakfast. Not to say that on days when I have the time some tofu scramble and breakfast potatoes are not allowed, but most mornings when I'm in a rush I tend to do the unthinkable and SKIP BREAKFAST!!! Any person that has been around with even minimum nutrition knowledge can tell you that's a big no-no! So, fruit and whole foods for breakfast , no more skipping out!

As for my toddler, smoothies and soups are a parents best friend when it comes to getting in those fruits and veggies. The smoothies little K eats are loaded with frozen blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and best of all usually at least 1 cup of raw kale. That's right KALE! If I put a cup of raw kale on her tray she would laugh in my face, before throwing it on the ground with a high pitched, "I don't like that leaves." She does however ask for mainly two kinds of foods, smoothies and soup, both which are loaded with more organic, healthful foods than the typical adult, (myself included,) consumes.

Smoothies are very forgiving and it would take quite a bit hard work to make one that didn't turn out good. This particular smoothie is a blend of frozen bananas, mangoes,blueberries, strawberries, coconut-milk yogurt, (So Delicious brand,) and ricemilk. With shelled hempseeds on the side for K to sprinkle in it, (her favorite part!) These ingredients just happen to be what we have today, some days its just frozen bananas, blueberries, and kale with some rice milk. For kiddos that may not be as into the greenish-brown color of this smoothie, go ahead and add more blueberries, their color masks the green kale.

Organic bananas are $0.29/ lb at Trader Joes, pick up a few bunches each time you run, freeze them cut in baggies so you will always have some for a quick smoothie fix(if you don't have a TJ's I'm sorry for you, Super Target is inexpensive as well, shop around and look for sale where you can stock up and freeze them.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In honor of referring to myself as a "grilled-cheese" vegetarian in the past I thought I would prove that being vegan doesn't mean giving up the foods you love!
This sandwich, like the majority of my recipes, can be adapted in many different ways, so don't be afraid to play around with it!

the "cheese" sauce
I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Jo Stepanaik's The Uncheese Cookbook" if you've lost that cheesy feeling in your life. She includes everything from feta, sauces, and soups, to desserts and cheese molds. She inspired me to do something I had been thinking about but not sure how to execute. Using veggies as bases to creamy "cheese-like" sauces. Specifically her "Unprocessed Cheese Sauce" inspired this one. Hers is delish too! I love the taste of nut cheese, as the nuts give a fuller, fat type taste, which is why I used nuts in this one. There are many different kinds of cheese sauces out there however, if the fat content from the nuts is a concern for anyone.


2 cups soaked cashews, (soak in water overnight, or at least 4-5 hours)
1-1.5 cups nutritional yeast (I like a lot so you may want to decrease it)
2 cups raw chopped/peeled potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion (or 1 tbls onion powder)
3 cloves garlic (or 1 tbls garlic powder)
1 tbls fresh lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar
3 tbls earth balance margarine (melted, OR oil)
1.5 teas salt
pepper to taste
1.5 teaspoon paprika
1 teas cayenne pepper (can omit or decrease for young kiddos or wimps :)
enough water to blend to desired consistency, more for a sauce, less for a paste (paste ideal for grilled cheese)

*optional 1 tbls Braggs for taste

Saute onions and garlic for several min in 1 tbls oil, add potatoes and carrots with enough water to cover. Bring water to a boil, cover and reduce heat until everything soft and tender. Blend together soaked cashews with everything, using enough water to make the desired consistency. (Start with less, (.5 cup lets say) and add as you go. If you're new to nutritional yeast and haven't acquired a full appreciation for it you can use less, but it is the cornerstone of the cheese.

You can return this to the burner to reheat, or serve as is.

Grilled -"cheese" assembly

*2 pieces bread, (i use Ezekial sesame bread) (since its already frozen I usually toast it in the toaster before applying the EB or cooking)-Is that cheating?
*Earth balance (EB) or oil the outside of the bread
*place in pan, cook over med heat until bread toasty enough

*I mashed 1/2 an avocado and 1 tbls of Veganaise in with the "cheese" sauce, but again, it can be enjoyed many ways. The "cheese" itself is just fine!

* Be sure to dip in plenty of ketchup and hot sauce!


In the beginning, there was a vegan...

Aloha folks, I'm Jessica. A 27-year old vegan, mother, student, professional, and the list goes on! My 2-year old daughter has been the biggest blessing of my life and believe it or not she chose veganism for me! After many years of being a vegetarian, (not a super healthy one at that, more like a grilled-cheese, pizza, veggie nugget vegetarian,) my sweet daughter was born with food allergies. We found out about them when she was just a couple months old, and breast-feeding exclusively. Although in the beginning we didn't know exactly what she was allergic to, so I had to roll up my sleeves and embark on a four-week elimination diet, (luckily I had quite a few post-pregnancy pounds hanging around, (literally!) and was able to handle four weeks of lentil soup, beans and rice, and apples!) Her allergies seemed to be milk protein, eggs and unfortunately soy. My cheese loving days were over, and anyone who really knew me could tell you how much I loved cheese. Well, thankfully I was stronger than the ever-alluring cheese pizza, and here I am two years later, as vegan as they come!

The truth is I had always ethically wanted to be vegan but never tried, somehow thinking I would definitely fail. Becoming vegan for me was like changing any behavior, hard at first, with a couple weeks of wandering the grocery store, just to get a look at the bakery section cakes. But, with time it has become so much more than denying myself anything; veganism became a way of life. I began cooking and baking from scratch, (whereas my pre-vegan days cooking meant pre-heating the oven, or opening jars and boxes.) At first I stuck rigidly to the recipes and very soon began to adapt things to my own personal tastes and dietary restrictions. I had to avoid soy, which isn't the easiest thing to do as a vegan. But going the first year without soy to fall back on pushed me to try new protein sources, like my BFFs: quinoa, amaranth, and seitan. Happily my daughter, K, is outgrowing her soy allergy slowly, and has started to tolerate certain soy foods. Even without soy, vegan cooking and baking is not only possible, but fun and delicious.

My mission statement with this blog is to give back to that which helped me. The Internet has made a transition to veganism as smooth as possible. There are so many websites, and blogs that one would never run out of new, tasty recipes. I hope to contribute some of my personal recipes to vegans contemplating, new, and old. I also have been learning first hand just how to feed a vegan baby, now toddler and have many ideas on just how to get those fruits and veggies in their tummies,(without a knock-down, dragout, tantrum....usually.) I also have to give a shout -out to vegans avoiding soy products, the true vegan soldiers! I have many recipes and links for you my friends, who needs soy anyways!

I hope everyone will chime in with comments, recipes, links that can help us all! Note: non-vegans are not only welcome but encouraged. We are all at different steps in our personal journeys and I am so thankful to the other vegans who gave me support during my transitioning days. For some reason I used to find veganism a bit intimidating and despite years of vegetarianism I didn't exactly know what was vegan and what wasn't, (aside from the obvious.) Its not that hard! Any questions will be respectively answered, no "more-vegan-than-thou-ness" to be worried about!