Vegan Nacho Cheese

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I have been wanting to make this vegan nacho cheese recipe for awhile… It was posted on my Facebook page from a friend literally a year ago.  I know, I’m slow.  Anyway, Alissa’s recipes over at Connoiseurus Veg’s website are always pretty awesome looking, so it’s about time I made this one.

I tried it out on Christmas eve.  Then tried it out again the other night.  I must say, it was pretty consistently good, even with my variations.

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The recipe calls for 1 sweet potato.  The first time that was what I used, and it was tasty.  The second time, I diced up one sweet potato and two other potatoes that I picked out at the super market, and it still came out tasty.

So I diced up the potatoes and boiled for about 15 minutes until they got soft.  Then I drained and mashed.  After that, all you have to do is add some flavor!

For the flavor, I put in various amounts of sriracha sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast flakes.  Alissa has measurements on her original recipe, but I find it’s just better for me to do it by taste.  For example, I held back on the sriracha sauce a bit because I don’t like things too spicy.  I also used less olive oil to reduce the amount of fat going into it. And I didn’t peal my potatoes.

Basically, this recipe is awesome – all you have to do is mix a few things together and in about 25 minutes you’re done and dipping nachos in this cheese!

I see a lot of potential here!

Chickpea Salad

 

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This Chickpea salad was modified from Oh She Glows.  The origional has additional ingredients like onion, pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.  My sister and I chose to make this salad with other ingredients because we like the flavors of carrots and tomatoes better.  Either way, I am sure the original is great too! It was simple to make, and easy to modify, which makes it a perfect salad to me!

Raw Vegan Brownies – Beware – lots of sugar.. But soooo goood!

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YES!

AMAZING!

SUGAR!

That’s how I feel right now.  I am amazed.  I just made the no-bake raw vegan brownies from minimalist baker, which you can find here.

As always, I did things a bit differently, but they still turned out fantastic!!

I always use my Ninja blender, because that’s all I have for mixing.

I used ALL the dates, and I didn’t put them in the blender a few at a time.  I just threw half in, blended, and then the other half right after.  No time for single dates!

I used only half the coconut oil since I don’t like it that much.

I used a little less sugar, and a finely granulated sugar not a powdered sugar, so my frosting came out more dense and less fluffy.

I didn’t have any baking pans available today and I didn’t want to wash them, so I shaped my brownies into a heart to surprise bf when he gets home.  Hooray!

 

Here are some snapshots along the way:

No Bake Vegan Brownies Progression Photos

BBQ Tempeh Sandwhiches

 

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Quick and easy BBQ taste! And on a nice vegan English muffin.  Now that’s what I needed for my carb-and-main-stream-food-craving!

I basically crumbled my Tempeh into a pan, added some onions, peppers, and some BBQ sauce, and heated with a tablespoon of oil.  Then added some salt and pepper and put it on my toasted English muffin.  It took about ten minutes to make.

It’s Sushi Time

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I have wanted to make sushi for so long! I always thought, why am I paying so much money to get sushi, when I can make it at home exactly the way I want it?  Well the answer to that is because I had no idea how to make it.  Now I do.

I went to the Asian store and bought two bamboo rolling sticks, sushi rice, nori (which is the seaweed paper), and of course I had to get a cute plate to put it on.  Then I sliced up some veggies, and watched this tutorial on youtube, and off I went!

My final product, shown below, came out great before I cut it.  I didn’t have a sharp enough knife to cut through the nori without squishing the sushi a bit, so that is now on the shopping list for next time.  It still tasted great!  I’d like to experiment by adding different veggies for next time.  I am so excited!

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Smoothies Are My Life

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I am assuming this is what all vegans say.  Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get a LOT of fruit in one serving (or five servings depending on how you look at it).  I love my new Ninja blender that I have been using since Christmas.  For the most part it gets everything blended really smooth.  It works better if you do the thicker items first before adding in the liquid, or else it doesn’t get those little pieces small enough.

Smoothies really are my life now.  I have them multiple times a week.  That and nicecream.  The one in the picture was a banana pummelo smoothie, which came out pretty good, but next time I will use less pummelo, which has a bitter grapefruit like taste, and put a few sweeter ingredients in.

A Heartfelt Interpretation of my Vegan Journey

Being vegan is not easy, at least not for me.  The main reason for my blog and my Instagram account are to hold myself accountable.  That means that I am overly enthusiastic online all the time, showing my success as a vegan.  The truth is, there are a LOT of times where I am successful, but there have been a few setbacks too.  There have been 3 occasions that I can think of when I ate a non-vegan item.  It has been 57 days today that I have been embracing this lifestyle.  The important part is, when I ate the non-vegan item, I just moved on.  I didn’t cave and keep eating that way.  I acknowledged it, and then set my sights on continuing to eat vegan.  In my personal opinion, three small discrepancies (I mean seriously, one of them was one of those little Ferrero Rocher candies) over the course of two months is not too bad! I have to remember that I have been eating a meat based diet for 26 years, and change is not easy.

I find it helpful to have a lot of bananas on hand.  Those work for when I am too tired to make a new recipe or go food shopping, but still need some vegan food to hold me over until I decide what to cook.

I also find it helpful to have peanut butter and vegan dark chocolate.  These are the things that keep me away from the candies! Not to mention, with bananas, these are a treat (see my banana bites post!).

I have to wake up a lot earlier to make sure that I have time to eat an entire vegan breakfast.  Eating fruit takes a long time.  This is sometimes tiresome, but when I get a good nights sleep, it’s rewarding to be up early.

I live in an apartment complex where I try not to make too much noise in the morning.  If I want a smoothie at 6am, I find it helpful to make it the night before, leave it in the blender in the fridge, and then just hit the pulse button once or twice in the morning.  The smoothies still taste just as good, and I don’t feel like a terrible neighbor.

I have a lot more dishes.  This might be because I am packing more food, using more knives and cutting boards, and cooking a lot more – but it adds up to a little more effort.

Sometimes the combination of foods in my stomach does not produce good results, and my day gets slightly changed because of it.  I think this is a food combination issue that I will have to figure out.

I have not yet determined what to do about my B12.  I know that down the line this will present an issue, and I will need to take supplements or get injections.  It has not been long enough to tell.  Also many cereals are fortified with B12, as well as 5 hour energy drinks, etc.  I try to avoid caffeine so I haven’t had any of those, and I haven’t had my levels tested.  That will have to be done shortly to see where I stand!

The purpose of this post is not to discourage anyone from being vegan, but to tell you a few things that I have noticed, and the bumps in the road from a normal perspective, not one that is overly bubbly or focusing only on my successes.  I plan to continue to use this blog, and my Instagram to post all my successes as motivation to continue forward, and I am very happy with the choice I made.  I just want to express that it is not an easy change, but it is absolutely worth it.  It is also completely obtainable.  I feel happier, healthier, and I have more energy than I did before.  Additionally I feel like I have control of what goes into my body and I feel good about it.  I see this as a lifestyle change, not a diet, and longevity is the goal.  To anyone considering being vegan – you have nothing to lose if you just try it out!