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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My Best Banana Ice Cream Yet – Raspberry

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It was so delicious, so tart, and I spent extra time blending it so I didn’t add more almond milk.  That gave it a creamier consistency.  Fantastic!

2.5 Bananas (some frozen)

12 oz. Raspberries (frozen)

A splash of almond milk to help it blend.

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!

Banana Bites

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The times that I fell off the vegan wagon were times that I was craving chocolates and more bread-carb-intense foods.  I have found a way to fix those cravings!

Banana Peanut butter chocolate bites! Delicious.  I remember seeing these on someones instagram, and then I couldn’t remember who’s it was, but the closest thing to what I made I found over at A Healthy Slice of Life. 

I didn’t freeze mine, just popped them in the fridge and they were great.

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As I made more batches I got the hang of it, and made it a little more efficient.  I put the PB in a little bag and cut the corner off so that I could squirt it onto the banana to make the sandwich.  Then I used toothpicks to hold it all together and dip it in the melted chocolate, and when I figured out the gloriousness of wax paper – my life was ten times better.

You should all make these now.

This Asparagus Soup IS AMAZING

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So I was going through some blogs and looking for something creamy and filling on my vegan diet.  I found an asparagus soup over at the Vegangela blog and I noticed that the ingredients list was short (perfect), and there was lots of simmering and not much stirring (also perfect).  I decided to give it a try.

Now, asparagus tastes great, don’t get me wrong, but it totally tastes like veggies.  A very distinct veggie taste.  I was apprehensive about the recipe, especially since I had to use ALL the asparagus in my fridge, and I didn’t want to waste it.

I didn’t weigh out the asparagus like it said to in the recipe, and I used 32 ounces of veggie stock, instead of the 5 cups, because that was the size of the container I had.  I soaked my cashews in water, and cooked for the full 20 minutes, maybe even longer because I got distracted on the phone with my friend 🙂

This soup is amazing.  Thank you Angela at Vegangela for sharing this on your blog.  I recommend everyone make it if they are looking for a nice, filling, warm soup.  Smooth and delicious!  Looking forward to trying more recipes from your site Angela!

Oatmeal Raisin Balls!

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Today I tried oatmeal raisin balls.  I got them from over at Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!

As usual, I modified the recipe slightly based on what I had but they actually came out awesome.  I’ve been seeing pictures of these things all over Instagram in various different forms, mostly with dates, but this one just had oats, walnuts, and raisins as the base.

My modifications included:

  • Cashews instead of walnuts since I had some left over from another recipe
  • Thyme instead of cloves, and just a pinch of it, since I’ve never stocked cloves and couldn’t even tell you what they would have tasted like
  • No salt
  • I cooked the oats for 30 seconds beforehand to absorb a little water
  • I rolled them in coconut flakes because it just makes it look awesome

So basically these things came out awesome.  I am finally getting some recipes of little snack type things that I might be able to make for people to try when they come over.  Being vegan is getting me excited about having other people taste these treats.  I know most people won’t like them (or maybe they will!) but I am excited to invite people over.  Then I wont have to just eat salad at the restaurant anymore.  That gets boring really quick.

Nice Cream Round Two :)

 

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Nice cream?  What is this?  Why does everyone post all these delicious looking pictures?  What am I supposed to eat when boyfriend wants to eat ice cream and watch TV!?!?!  Nice cream is the answer.  I tried it just a short while back with cocoa powder and that was pretty good, but I wanted to try some other flavors to see if I can find one that hides the banana taste a little.

I am getting used to the taste of bananas so that’s a good thing.  But still, the less it tastes like bananas the better.  My two most recent attempts include a vanilla cinnamon nice cream, and a strawberry nice cream .

 

Vanilla: 1 frozen banana with splashes of vanilla, cinnamon, and soy milk to taste.

Strawberry: 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 a bag of frozen strawberries

Boyfriend liked both of them so much he now asks me to make him some too every time I make any!

Spinach Potato Mashes

 

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There is a recipe over at Cruelty Free Family for Spinach Potato Puffs – so I had to try it.  The ingredients list was short which always works for me!

I was a little scared by the long directions, so I modified it a bit.

Instead of roasting the garlic in the oven, I threw it in the toaster oven on “toast” for 10 minutes while I diced up my potatoes.

Instead of defrosting all the frozen spinach, I just left it out while I was doing the preparations, and by the time I mixed it into the potatoes they pretty much defrosted themselves during the mixing process.

I did not use any vegan butter, nor did I use oil or salt.  I figured I could add them at the end.

I rolled the balls then mushed them flat with a fork.

I also ended up cooking them about five minutes longer, because I was expecting them to have some sort of crunch to them, which they didn’t.  Is this because I didn’t use the butter?  In the original recipe they are called potato “puffs” so maybe they aren’t supposed to be crispy?  If you let them sit and cool – which is so hard to do if you’re hungry! – they are easier to take off the pan and still delicious.  May need some salt, if you have a taste for it.   🙂