Vegan Waffles – I Want You Every Day

IMG_20160625_084639 Oh My Goodness.

If I had an easier waffle maker to clean, I would literally be making these every single day of my life.

*Side note – does anyone know if there are easy to clean waffle makers? Mine has a cord attached to it and I have to hang that out of the sink while I rinse off the waffle iron part of it and I’m like.. This can’t be safe*

You might as well just make a waffle IV.  The first time I made them, I forgot to put in baking powder, and they still came out awesome.  This picture here is from my second attempt.  And trust me,  I will be making more.

Waffles are essentially some flour, vegan chocolate chips, agave/honey, oats, oil, and maybe some baking powder or water/almond if you don’t forget.  When there are so few ingredients, how could you not try and make them?

I got my recipe from the Minimalist Baker, but like I said – I messed it up a few times and it still came out fine.  And my fine I mean amazing.  You should try them too.

Cruise Adventures and Being Vegan

IMG_20150327_085715So I went on a cruise… And the Vegan part, lets just say it was way easier than I expected.

I used to flip through magazines and say “oh hey look there is a vegan cruise! But it’s 9x the cost of a regular cruise” and then not go on a cruise.  This time, I said, “The heck with it” and took my chances with the run of the mill budget cruise.

So it was a Carnival cruise… and first of all, the fruit selection was AMAZING.  The fact that there are options at any hour of the day/night for the duration of the cruise is also AMAZING.  Additionally, on Carnival, the room service was free, so even when the only thing that was open was the pizza place and the ice cream parlor at 1 am, I could order free fresh fruit and oatmeal delivered right to my room!  I mean, I didn’t even have to walk to get my vegan fix, how great is that?

Also on cruises, the BF and I try and jump start our healthy lifestyle choices.  I would say this is my favorite part.  So healthy fruits, fresh raw options, and some jogging with a side of salsa dancing?  I’ll take it.  We went jogging on the track, swimming in the pools, dancing in the clubs, and even visited the gym to check it out.  Overall, cruises make me happy 😀

Oh, and if you go to the service desk when you first get on the boat, and tell them you have special dietary requirements – they tell the kitchen! And at your dinner time, since you have the same wait staff every night, they come up to you and alert you that they were told about your food preferences.  I was offered to select an entirely vegan cooked meal not on the menu for every single night.  The only caveat was that I had to let them know the night before, but they usually gave me two or three choices to pick from.

Needless to say, I will be cruisin’ more often for vacations!  Less work for food prep, and fresh fruit around the clock! Sign me up!

 

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!

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

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!

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.   🙂

 

 

 

Avocado Cucumber Rainbow Rolls

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So I saw this awesome looking video over at FullyRaw Kristina’s youtube page for avocado cucumber rainbow rolls.  I love watching her videos because they are inspiring and she uses all raw ingredients.  I decided to make these rainbow rolls, and even though her video was only 6 minutes long, it took me closer to 15 to prepare and make them.

I also didn’t have toothpicks so I had to use chopsticks to hold my rolls together.  I used a mandolin to slice the cucumbers, but I used the biggest setting, and probably should have used a slightly thinner setting for easier rolling.  I also got my peppers pre-cut from the store, and I used a mixed bag of lettuce type materials, that had a little lettuce, cabbage, and even some broccoli in it to use as filling.  Luckily I didn’t choose each thing individually or I would have been in my kitchen the entire day.  I am not the quickest slicer and dicer!

So after making 8 rolls, I devoured them.  It actually took me longer to eat than I would have thought.  The delicious avocado sauce came out the sides a bit, but it was still good.  Also I think since there is a lot of water, and a lot of crunchy goodness, I actually had to chew and enjoy my food.  After eating all 8 I was successfully stuffed, but I was hungry again just 2 hours later, so it didn’t have enough substance to hold me over.  As for an awesome, refreshing, mid afternoon snack – I’d recommend them.

 

I am going Bananas!!

I have a love hate relationship with bananas.  I like bananas whole as a snack, but when I blend them into things and mix them with other foods there is something about the taste or smell that puts me off.  I am trying to overcome that.  I am trying to be inspired by people like Freelee the banana girl and Fully Raw Kristina who just love bananas!  They are so good for you – and I want to eat more of them!

So.. A recommendation from so many instagrammers, as well as fromIMG_20150118_185839 my cousin, was the banana ice cream!  All you have to do is freeze a ripe banana, and when you are ready for ice cream, you blend it with your other vegan ingredients to whatever flavor you want.

I tried a chocolate one.  I used 1 frozen banana, a splash of soy milk for easier blending, and 1 spoon of cocoa powder.  It came out surprisingly well, barely tasting like bananas.  I am looking forward to adding more types of strong flavored fruits to see if I can have a less banana taste and other flavors as well!

Hot Chocolate Can Be Vegan Too!?!?!

Check out this awesome recipe I found for hot chocolate over at Veggie and the Beast!IMG_20150117_085133

It was simple to make, and satisfied my cravings.  Once again, I tested it out on my non-vegan boyfriend, and surprisingly – he approved!  It had a more bitter taste but was still creamy and fulfilling.   It also took longer to make than I expected, but as I have gotten more accustomed to this vegan thing, I have learned to enjoy the process of knowing what is in the foods I am eating.

You should all head over to the Veggie and the Beast page and check out the recipe and give it a try.  🙂