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Category Archives: Vegan

Cookie Dough Lara Balls and More Rain….

Well it’s raining again… at least the rain is a warm rain, but not quite enough to get me jazzed enough to go dance in it…

Thankfully I’ve got my sweet rain boots to keep me fashionable and dry in this rain!

I’m also starting to think I need more rain gear workout clothes or something as we head more into fall and winter!  hmmm…..

Anywayzzzz… onto the good stuff!!

So, I am totally obsessed with Lara Bars, but they can be a bit pricey when you are trying to keep on a tight budget.  Thankfully, they are super easy to replicate, not to mention more wallet friendly!!

These lil guys are perfect for right before or after a workout, to take on the go as a quick snack to keep you satiated until lunch or dinner… you name it!

Cookie Dough Lara Balls

1 Cup Raw Cashews

12 Medjool Dates

1/4 cup Carob Chips

Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt

– Process cashews until they are ground up into small pieces, but not a powder

– Add in the dates and sea salt, and process until almost incorporated

– Add in the carob chips and process until it starts to look clumpy

– Use a spoon and scoop out enough to fit in palm of your hand and form into a ball.  You can wet your hands to keep from sticking too much to your hands

Enjoy! and keep dry!

Question of the day:  What do you do when you can’t workout outdoors??

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Zucchini Pasta with Pumpkin “Marinara”

I have a confession… I’m in love… and it’s name is Spiralizer!!

I recently purchased a spiralizer, which was totally the best investment ever (besides maybe my juicer).  Basically you can take any vegetable, usually zucchini’s, and make them into a pasta like form!   It’s a fantastic way to incorporate more veggies into your diet, and if you are a major pasta lover like I am, but are trying to steer away from heavy carbs in the evening, then this is totally the perfect solution.

Best.thing.ever.

I’ve been using this thing like crazy, and experimenting with all kinds of sauces and so far this one is my best one yet!  Seriously in love with this sauce, I LOVE fall and pumpkin!!  I love that you can make Pumpkin both sweet AND savory, it kind of just morphes into whatever you want it to be.  Couple that with the fact that it’s also packed with nutrients (as most of my recipes are) and BAM! Total nutrition party in your mouth!!  (Check out my other post on Pumpkin for the nutritional benefits!)

 And here is the recipe:

Zucchini Pasta with Pumpkin “Marinara”

1 Zucchini – spiralized

Pumpkin “Marinara”:

Half a can of unsweetened organic pumpkin

2 medium garlic cloves

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

A little less then 1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

– Pour in Apple cider vinegar into the blender first

– Add remaining ingredients, blend away until all ingredients are incorporated into a smooth yummy sauce!

– Makes about 2-4 servings, depending on how much pasta you are using and how much sauce you prefer!

I added some lightly sauteed tofu with some basil, but you could add some beans, nuts, steamed veggies… the options are endless!

This can definitely be heated since it’s more of a cold dish.  Because, lets face it, when you think of fall, you think of warm dishes.

Ah-MAH-zing Vegetable Chili

Since I got back from my roaring weekend of sunny warm Los Angeles and San Francisco, it’s been doing nothing but rain!! The temperatures have also dropped to a more fall like feel.  Which I love, just minus the rain.  I don’t have all that much room in my little cottage so I can only really do my workouts out on my deck, so I’m not so much a fan of the rain!   I hear up here that during the winter months it does nothing but rain, so I’m going to have to come up with some creative workouts that I can manage to do in a tiny box like area.  Any suggestions??

In any case, this colder weather has struck up a strong desire for curling up in front of the fire with some hot cocoa and a blanket…. but since I don’t have a fire place I opted for a warming soup instead!  This soup was thrown together and ended up tasting Ah-MAH-zing!!  (my newest favorite word courtesy of my newest favorite show Happy Endings, anyone else watch it?? So hilarious!!)  I love to make soups because you can really put anything into it, load it up with veggies, beans, and even grains and it tends to last for about a week of lunches or dinners, for one person that is.

The other best thing about this soup is that it is packed with all kinds of vitamins and protein, so it keeps you quite full for  long time while also giving you some vitamin C and carotenoids to give you a nice glow 🙂  Really this should be called Power Glow Chili!

 Ah-MAH-zing Vegetable Chili

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 can diced italian herbed tomatoes

2 Tbsp Tomato paste

2 Large carrots (chopped)

2 Large Garlic cloves

Half of a large white onion (chopped)

1 Yellow bell pepper (chopped)

1 Red bell pepper (chopped)

2 Cups water

2 cans Chili Bean Mix (although I used 1 can chili bean mix and about 1 cup of chick peas)

1-2 dashes cayanne pepper (the heat!!)

3 Tbsp dried Basil

Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

– Pour olive oil into large pot, wait till it heats up a bit

– Add garlic and onion and saute until onions become translucent

– Add chopped carrots, and saute for about 5 minutes

– Add spices and tomato paste, stir around a bit, maybe 1-2 minutes more

– Add bell peppers, saute about one minute

– Add in tomatoes, and water and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (continue stirring every 10 minutes or so)

– Add in beans and continue to simmer for about 15-20 more minutes (keep your eye on the carrots, they are going to be your marker for when the soup is done.  You want the carrots to become slightly soft, but not too soft)

Enjoy with some yummy rice crackers or a whole wheat baguette!

I’ve been enjoying this soup for lunch this week and it totally fills you up and warms you up too!  Delicioso!

What do you turn to when the weather turns cold??

Mexican Chocolate “Rice” Pudding

Over the past 5 weeks I have been slowly getting settled into my new town and getting to know the culture.  Where I am living now is very heavily Mexican dominant.  To elaborate on that a bit more, I am here because I am in the HealthCorps (a branch of AmeriCorps) working in an elementary school teaching a few nutrition classes for kids who specifically are in danger of becoming obese.  I am also teaching a nutrition class to the women/moms of the community.  So far its been great! The kids are eager to learn and the women/moms are all really receptive to the information I’m providing.

Onto the food!  I have never been one to normally crave Mexican food, but lately I definitely have been, not a huge surprise given my surroundings.  I even had tacos (healthified version mind you) for lunch for two weeks straight!

So last night I wanted something sweet for after dinner, but healthy of course, so I whipped up a Chia seed pudding, but it turned out kind of like a Mexican rice pudding!!

What makes this pudding Mexican, is the cinnamon!  Their chocolate and puddings for that matter generally have a warm spice in them, whether its a hot chili spice or cinnamon, it always has a kick to it.

Cinnamon has so many amazing qualities to it, a few main ones would be;

– It helps to control your blood sugar, which in turn also helps boost your brain function!

– Its an anti-microbial, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria like fungi or yeast.

– A natural Anti-Inflammatory

And with that here is the recipe!

Mexican Chocolate “Rice” Pudding

Makes 4 small servings, (80 Calories each!!) or 2 large servings

1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Carob Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

1-2 Packets Stevia (I use the Truvia brand)

3 Scoops Chia Seeds (or 3 Tbsp?)

Splash Vanilla Extract

– Pour Almond milk into a bowl

– Add Carob and Cinnamon and whisk until well blended

– Add Chia seeds and Stevia, mix well, then mix in the vanilla extract

– Chill overnight, or for about 30 minutes until the chia seeds plump up and the consistency is like pudding!!

Please forgive the tupperware, I'm minimalist living these days, so I work with what I got!


Ingredients, simple!

Happy Friday everyone!!

Vegan Road Trippin

Nervous, excited and car packed to the top, off I go to the sunny west coast!!

As I mentioned before I am now living in Northern California, having just moved here from the East Coast.  I drove across country by myself and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.  Lol there were quite a few long stretches of drive that were extremely boring, with no sights to see.

However, as promised back in February when I announced my decision to move to California, I planned as much of my trip as I could to stop at some vegan places!!  It wasn’t quite as many as I had hoped but I didn’t have as much time as I wanted and I had to also be a bit frugal.

First awesome vegan stop was Chicago.  

I stopped at Karyns Fresh Corner  which was amazing!  It’s an all raw vegan cafe/restaurant.  It was so tiny but filled with amazing food.  A bit pricey, but I had planned accordingly, so I loaded up on raw food and packed it into my cooler to last me for the next 2 days.

Next up was nothing quite as special, but I stopped at Whole Foods in Nebraska to reload on snacks until I got to Boulder, CO.

In Boulder, CO I met up with a friend who I had not seen since High School!  We went to a pizza place called Boulder Organic Pizza which was some amazingly fresh tasting!  They didn’t have vegan cheese but for those of you who are vegan well know, pizza doesn’t even need cheese to taste amazing if you have the right toppings.


Next up was Reno, NV of all places!  I stopped at Freeman’s Natural Hot Dogs, which is both vegan and non vegan.  It was a quick dinner though since I had a ways to go still.  But it totally hit the spot!  It was such a cute little place, totally unsuspecting, but delicious.  I loaded that baby up with all kinds of awesomeness, vegan cheese, onions, vegan aioli sauce…. drool….

And unfortunately that was it!! I wish I could have stopped at more places but time and money did not play in my favor on this trip.  Plus I had planned accordingly and had a whole bag full of Justin’s Almond Butter packets to go with my apples in my cooler, as well as Lara Bars and ProBars meal replacement bars for those long stretches where I knew there wouldn’t be anything but truck stops.


That’s one thing that I love about being vegan and health conscious, it has taught me to pre-plan my meals and think about the fact that there would indeed be nothing but truck stops for a majority of the way unless I went out of my way to find the vegan spots.  And most of them were not necessarily right along the exit stops.

Next road trip across the country, as I’m sure I will be doing it again next year at some point to move the rest of my stuff out here, I will definitely take more time, and perhaps take the southern route like I had originally wanted.  🙂

  I’d love to know how you all pre-plan your meals!  Do share!

A Dash of Delicious #3

Posted on

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Yuummmmm!!!!!

 

It’s been a while and I apologize!!! I feel so bad for these long gaps of not posting.  But I’d rather post something of purpose or something interesting or pretty instead of pointless.  That would be my perfectionist side shining through there.

This past week has been a bit un-productive unfortunately.  I don’t work well without any kind of structure and lately without having work to go to I have not had much to do other than packing.  I have made the decision to move back home for a few months before moving to California in order to save up some money.

I have been going through a lot of my stuff and getting rid of soooo much stuff!! I have to say it is quite freeing! My plan is to be able to move to California with as little as possible…. which is quite hard for me because I tend to form attachments to things…. I mean I am in no way a horder by any means but things that are useful or that I like or things that I have memories with, it’s very difficult to get rid of them.

Does anyone else have that problem?! How do you fix it!?

 

I was reading my favorite blog a few days ago, and Angela came up with a guilt free Dairy Queen Blizzard!!  How fab!! So I did my own little spin on it 🙂  It totally hit the spot  both yesterday and today.

 

Mango Banana Soft Serve with Cookie Dough! (Guilt Free!!!)

1 Frozen Banana (diced)

Frozen Mango (as much or as little as you would like – the more you use the more mango-y it tastes!)

Splash of Coconut Milk (or other nut milk)

* put into food processor and blend until it reaches soft serve consistency!

 

Cookie Dough Balls

Adapted from Oh She Glows

  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsalted raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1.5 tbsp natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup (or a bit more if dough is too dry)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I used cacao nibs – but I think it made it a bit too crumbly)

Directions: In a food processor, add the cashews and oats and process until it forms a fine crumble.

Now add in the salt, sugar, and flour and process for a few seconds more. Add in the maple syrup and vanilla and process until combined.

It will be sticky, but this is normal! Add in your chocolate chips and stir by hand or process. Form into balls. Store in freezer.

 

 

So if anyone has any great ideas for how to whittle down and let go of things that may be not necessary please share!!

 



I Heart Alfredo!!

Ok, so I have a confession to make, I have become OBSESSED with making this Pasta with Alfredo sauce.  Like literally, I cannot seem to get enough of it!!  I may need an intervention.

“Hi, my name is Erin, and I am a Pasta Alfredo-holic”

It’s just soooo delicious and creamy and…. delicious!!!

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

1 cup unsweetened original coconut milk (or any other plain unsweetened milk)

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp Tahini

1 Tbsp ground mustard

2 large cloves garlic

2 large pinches dried Thyme

1 tsp Paprika

Juice from a 1 inch lemon slice

Salt and pepper to taste

* Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high.  (Depending on your blender and its power, you may need to add a bit more milk in to make sure it blends well.)  The sauce will be a nice thick consistency.

* Pour sauce into pot with drained pasta, put on low heat and stir until pasta is fully mixed with sauce.

* Put into favorite bowl with any of your fav veggies, or just add scallions (my fav) and some basil and enjoy the delicious decadence slooowly!!! (I made the mistake of inhaling it too fast the first time because it was so good!! then got sad when it was gone too fast)

The good news is that I have admitted that I have a problem with this amazing vegan cheesy goodness.  The bad news is that I really don’t want to let this go!! Lol

This dish is a bit on the decadent side, and definitely not one that should be consumed as much as I have been consuming it in the past few weeks.  However, it is most certainly WAAAAYYY better then the real tushy stuff (tushy is the new term which I have picked up from Kris Carr, when referring to anything regarding dairy or cow).

I am finally just about cleared of my cold thank god!! I’m tellin  you all, those cold buster smoothies and juices worked!! Along with my Samubucus lozenges.  Those lozenges tasted horrible! but they work! A major perk of working at a holistic pharmacy, I am surrounded by awesome remedies all day long that can make me better!

I hate that this blog today wasn’t filled with interesting knowledge Lol but I find that after I get home from work in the evenings, I don’t have a ton of time to write.  But I’d rather post something rather then nothing 🙂  All for the love of my growing crowd of readers 🙂

Here is my question for you all today:

Are there any topics or questions you would like me to cover in any up coming blog postings?  I have a few up my sleeve which I would like to cover when I have a bit more time to go more in depth.